Culture secretary Raghvendra Singh has been appointed as India’s new Secretary of Textiles. A Post Graduate in History from the Delhi University and a 1983 batch IAS officer of the West Bengal cadre, Singh has earlier served various departments like Ministry of Agriculture & Co-operation and Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.
The development came after former textiles secretary Anant Kumar was moved to the Land Resources department. According to reports, Anant Kumar from 1984 batch, UP cadre, has been shunted out in an unusual transfer order. “This sudden transfer was necessitated as he and Textiles Minister Smriti Irani did not get along,” reports a leading English daily.
Anant served just 15 months in the Ministry of Textiles (MoT). In a similar case, Rashmi Verma who was the textile secretary before Anant Singh, was transferred after a brief period of 17 months in MoT.
Recently Anant Singh noticed irregularities worth Rs 200 crore in the National Handloom Development Corporation (NHDC), a public sector undertaking under the textiles ministry. The matter has now been referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
“Anant Kumar should have been removed or transferred earlier as he was not able to deliver. We invited him many times to visit Tirupur to understand India’s biggest knitting hub but he never came. There was enough scope that he can perform well,” said an apparel industry stalwart on the request of anonymity.
In the last seven years, the Ministry of Textiles has seen five secretaries and none of them has served more than 18 months. “They should give at least three years’ time to any Secretary-level officer, as any person working at such higher level needs to have a long-term vision,” said another industry veteran who didn’t want to be quoted.