New Delhi: Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Wednesday was given a two-year extension by the Centre, just days before his current tenure was to expire on June 30.
The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) approved his extension for a further period of two years beyond June 30, 2019, that is up to June 30, 2021, on the same terms and conditions, the personnel ministry said in its order.
He was appointed as the CEO of the government think-tank on February 17, 2016, for a fixed two-year term, soon after his retirement. Mr Kant last year was given an extension till June 30, 2019.
Before taking over as the CEO of National Institution for Transforming India (Niti Aayog), he was secretary, department of industrial policy and promotion, which has been rechristened as the department for promotion of industry and internal trade.
The former bureaucrat, a 1980 batch IAS officer of the Kerala cadre, has been active in Niti Aayog ever since he joined in 2016. He has been instrumental in implementing several flagship schemes of the NDA government, namely Digital India, Make In India and Startup India.
Considered close to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), his extension looked certain, considering his pro-active role in establishing the government’s policy agenda.
However earlier this month when the entire Niti Aayog had been restructured and vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar and all the members were retained (except Bibek Debroy) by the Centre, the silence on Mr Kant’s extension had led to a lot of speculation in administrative circles.