Rashmi Verma, an IAS officer of 1982 cadre (Bihar), will be the new secretary, Ministry of Textiles (MoT) Government of India. She is currently working as a Special Secretary, Department of Revenue of the Finance Ministry, and will replace Sanjay Kumar Panda when he superannuates on December 31.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet cleared her appointment. Post Graduate in Political Science with an MBA degree from University Hull, Rashmi Verma is 57 years old and is expected to be a positive sign for the textile industry as there are chances that she can serve as a top officer for 3 years.
Execution of the new textile policy, fund clearance regarding TUFS (Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme) and transparency in the AEPC (Apparel Export Promotion Council) are some of the immediate challenges before her as the new textile secretary.
Experts in the Indian textile industry insisted that any secretary in the MoT should get at least three years, so that he/she can deliver, particularly at the grass-root level. Even the outgoing textile secretary got only 17 months to serve, and whatever he did for the textile industry, results are yet to materialise.
Before that, two previous secretaries in the MoT got very little time as well — Zohra Chatterji worked in MoT just for 18 months from January 31, 2013 to July 31, 2014 and prior to that Kiran Dhingra got even less time, with only one year, as she worked on the same post from January 2012 to January 2013. However, Rita Menon got almost three years in the MoT from February 1, 2009 to December 31, 2011.
“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 Prashant Agarwal, JMD, Wazir Advisors.