Saturday, 30 July 2016

AK Mital gets reappointed for 2 years, 2 days ahead of retirement

NEW DELHI: In a first such decision in the Railways, the government today reappointed AK Mital as Chairman of Railway Board (CRB) for two years, two days before his retirement. This is for the first time an incumbent, due to retire, has been reappointed as the highest official of the national transporter. A 1976-batch Indian Railway Stores Service Officer, Mital was to retire on July 31. Today would have been,
effectively, his last working day but the order of his reappointment from Monday by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, came before the end of the working day. With this extension, Mital, who took over as CRB on January 1, 2015, will have a tenure of over three-and-a-half years, making him the longest serving head of the Railway Board.

Railways had sent three names -- Member Staff Pradeep Kumar (11 months), Member Traffic Mohd Jamshed and Member Engineer A K Mittal, both having over one year of service left -- to the ACC.

"However, none could make the cut and the existing CRB got the nod from the highest quarters (PMO) to continue for two more years," according to a source.

According to established norms, the senior most Member in the Railway Board with minimum one year residual service qualifies to become CRB. The senior most Member in the Board is Member Mechanical Hemant Kumar who has only four months service left.

According to the sources, there was also a move to freeze the CRB tenure for two years like Home Secretary, Defence Secretary and Finance Secretary as the rail expansion and modernisation have become priorities for the government.

Mital was appointed to the top post in place of Arunendra Kumar, who had superannuated on December 31, 2014. 

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