Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel has created two new posts, chief advisor and advisor. He has appointed two retired senior officers of the state to these posts.
Dr Hasmukh Adhia, former finance secretary of the Government of India, is the chief advisor, while SS Rathore (Satyanarayan Singh Shiv Singh Rathore) is the advisor. Both officers have excellent administrative records.
Dr Adhia will serve as the chief advisor of finance, economic affairs, education, energy, and non-conventional energy, essentially all policies related to investment. He will hold the position till the Chief Minister’s tenure or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
SS Rathore will oversee policy-related work in road construction, civil aviation, metro rail projects and railways and water resources (Narmada and Kalpsar). He will also be an advisor to the chief minister for areas to be decided by the state government.
A civil servant and Indian banker, Dr Adhia was one of the advisors behind the structure and roll-out of the Goods and Services Tax and demonetisation plans announced in 2016. He is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1981 Gujarat cadre batch, who served as finance secretary before retiring in 2018.
He has held various positions for both the Government of Gujarat and the Government of India such as additional chief secretary (finance), principal secretary (education), principal secretary (transport), principal secretary to the chief minister of Gujarat, executive director of Gujarat Sardar Sarovar Narmada Corporation, managing director of Gujarat Industrial Investment Corporation, and district magistrate and collector of Bhavnagar and Surat districts in the Government of Gujarat.
He has also held positions as central revenue secretary and central financial services secretary in the Government of India.
Additionally, he was a consultant to the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. He was appointed as the central financial services secretary by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by the Prime Minister in November 2014.
Before retirement, Dr Adhia was praised by the then finance minister, the late Arun Jaitley, who called him a “highly competent, disciplined, impeccable civil servant of impeccable integrity.”
During his tenure as revenue secretary, Adhia was considered one of the most powerful bureaucrats in India. He is currently the non-executive chairman of the Bank of Baroda and the chancellor of the Central University of Gujarat.
SS Rathore is an Indian civil engineer. Since he hails from the royal family of the Valasna state, he’s fondly called Kunwar Sahib. He is popularly known as the ‘Highway and Canal Man of Gujarat’.
An officer of the Gujarat Engineering Service, he served as secretary in the Department of Roads and Buildings and Water Resources Department. He retired as additional chief secretary in 2014.
In 2018, Rathore was honoured with Padma Shri for his contribution to infrastructural development.
He served as the chairman and managing director of Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited for five years.
He is credited with developing the major highways of Gujarat. He introduced the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) road development model, the first of its kind in India.
He has been the president of the Institute of Engineers, India, and the Indian Roads Congress and vice-president of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations.
Since July 2019, he has been the managing director of the Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation Limited. The work of Metro Phase-1 has been completed under his guidance.
With the appointment of these two officers, there is a possibility of change in the corridor of the secretariat.