Modi replaces top finance mandarin Mayaram in first major shakeup

Modi replaces top finance mandarin Mayaram in first major shakeup
Arvind Mayaram attends an interview with Reuters at a hotel during his visit for the G20 meeting in Mexico City November 4, 2012.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has transferred the top civil servant at the finance ministry, replacing him with a top official from Rajasthan, the state that has pushed dramatic free market reforms in recent months.

Arvind Mayaram's transfer was part of the first major shuffle of top civil servants since Modi took office in May. In all, 20 bureaucrats were moved, many at the level of secretary, the most senior rank in India's civil service.

Mayaram, who has twin roles as both finance and economic affairs secretary and was appointed by the previous government, has been shifted to the tourism ministry.

Rajiv Mehrishi, the top bureaucrat from Rajasthan, will replace Mayaram at the finance ministry, Modi's administration said on Wednesday.

Over the past six months Rajasthan has introduced some of India's most radical free-market labour, land and welfare reform.

Secretaries in the finance ministry formulate and carry out policy, besides helping to craft the annual budget in close association with the minister and advisers.

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