Pro-Jagan ministers get additional portfolios
In a major development, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy stripped two of his deputies of important portfolios by their subjects from Revenue to Finance department.
Commercial Taxes department, which is being looked after by Deputy Chief Minister (DCM) K. Narayana Swamy, and Registrations and Stamps, being looked after by another Deputy CM Dharmana Krishna Das, have been transferred from the Revenue department to Finance under the charge of Minister Buggana Rajendranath.
As things stand, DCM Narayana Swamy will now continue to look after the Excise and Prohibition department while Dy CM Krishna Das will hold charge of the Revenue (Lands) Department. Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das issued an order around Thursday midnight affecting the changes “to have more synergy of resource mobilization with the Finance Department.”
“All the related Heads of Departments and autonomous organisations like Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, Director and Inspector General of Registrations and Stamps and the AP VAT Appellate Tribunal (Visakhapatnam) are also attached to the Finance Department henceforth,” the Chief Secretary said in the order.
He said necessary amendments to the Second Schedule of AP Government Business Rules, 2018, would be issued separately. The changes were brought into effect based on a file circulated by the CM’s Principal Secretary Praveen Prakash. Commercial Taxes and Registrations and Stamps were so far under the Revenue Department, under the jurisdiction of a Special Chief Secretary.
In the Finance Department, these subjects have been entrusted to a Secretary-rank officer N. Gulzar of the 1999 batch. As per the Chief Secretary’s order, the Commercial Taxes Commissioner will now have to report to the Finance Secretary, who is two years junior to him.
Meanwhile, the Governor is yet to issue a notification on the change of subjects of the two Deputy Chief Ministers. Sometimes, the Chief Minister orders for allotment of subjects to a minister and sends (the file) to the Governor for post-facto approval. This is as per Rule 5 and 6 of the New Business Rules.
However, there is discussion at the Chief Minister’s Office as to why Jagan has stripped the D-CMs of their portfolios and given them to his close aides like Buganna who holds the finance portfolio.
TEJASWINI PAGADALA is an independent communications consultant. She has previously worked with the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office as the Communications Officer where she has written English speeches for the CM, managed English media communication from the CMO and handled social media accounts of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and the Government.