Four key Finance Ministry functionaries, including Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) Secretary R. Gopalan and Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Kaushik Basu, demitted office on Tuesday.

The term of Mr. Gopalan and Mr. Basu, besides that of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Laxman Das and Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Chief S.K. Goel ended on July 31.

While Arvind Mayaram has already been appointed the new DEA Secretary and would take charge from August 1, the probables for the CEA’s post include Raghuram Rajan, a former chief economist of the IMF and Ajay Chibber, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Development Programme.

Mr. Mayaram, currently special secretary and financial advisor in the Ministry of Rural Development, was a joint secretary when P. Chidambaram was in the Finance Ministry three and a half years ago.

Mr. Mayaram will again be helping Mr. Chidambaram, who has been allocated the finance portfolio and is likely to assume office on August 1.

Woman may head CBEC

The senior-most member of the board, Poonam Kishore Saxena, is tipped to take over as the new Chairman of the CBDT.

For the first time in history, the CBEC is likely to be headed by a woman — Praveen Mahajan.

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