The advisors in Niti Aayog are all bureaucrats who are equivalent in rank to joint secretary level and above.
New Delhi: With the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) keen to rebuild people’s as well as investors’ confidence in the aftermath of the Nirav Modi-Punjab National Bank scam, Niti Aayog — the Centre’s think tank — which is saddled with formulating key policies in the field of banking and finance as well as other significant sectors, is battling a severe staff crunch.
Senior level officials which in the think tank’s parlance are called advisors, are urgently required for important sectors like banking, north-eastern affairs and small & medium enterprises (SMEs), among others. Owing to the absence of full time officials for these significant sectors, crucial decision making processes are getting hampered, highly placed sources informed this newspaper.
Recently, the shortage of senior level officials in the government think tank was discussed in a high level meeting held by its vice chairman Rajiv Kumar and CEO Amitabh Kant.
According to sources privy to developments, the Niti Aayog may soon advertise the vacancies, which would mean that even private professionals with experience in the aforementioned fields could apply. The advisors in Niti Aayog are all bureaucrats who are equivalent in rank to joint secretary level and above. They are appointed on deputation basis in the think tank.
However with tenure of many such officials having got over, vacancies in these crucial sectors have become a cause of concern for the think tank. With Lok Sabha polls less than a year away, Niti Aayog in its urgency for experienced and skilled personnel, is learnt to be open to the idea of even hiring private professionals, sources pointed out.
The PMO too is learnt to have expressed concern over sluggishness in decision making, especially in the banking and finance sectors.
In fact sources in the know said that almost on a weekly basis, top officials of Niti Aayog have been holding deliberations on these two sectors to chart out strategy papers to usher in more investor-friendly reforms in the banking and finance sectors.
Notably, urgent filling up of key posts has been underlined by PMO.