Barthwal is new commerce secretary, Arti Ahuja gets charge of labour

NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday appointed a dozen secretaries, including for commerce and labour, as it sought to fill up key posts, some of which had been lying vacant.
Sunil Barthwal, a Bihar cadre IAS officer of 1989 batch, has been designated the new commerce secretary, replacing BVR Subrahmanyam, who will retire at the end of this month. Barthwal’s key task will be to conclude free trade agreements with the UK and Canada, apart from devising ways to revitalise exports.
Subrahmanyam has been given a two-year assignment as chairman of the India Trade Promotion Organisation, with completing the much-delayed Pragati Maidan project being a key priority, given that India is the host nation of next year’s G20 meetings. Arti Ahuja, who is currently chemicals secretary will replace Barthwal in the labour ministry, which is grappling with the notification of the new labour codes, enacted several months ago. Arun Baroka will move to the chemicals and petro-chemicals department. Arun Singhal was appointed fertiliser secretary.
The government also cleared the appointment of Vivek Bhardwaj from Bengal cadre as the new mines secretary.
Anjali Bhawra of Punjab cadre has been shifted to the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment. Rajesh Aggarwal of Maharashtra cadre, who is now skill development secretary, will take the place of Bhawra. Rajesh Kumar Singh has been appointed as the new secretary of animal husbandry and dairying. Mukhmeet Singh Bhatia of Jharkhand cadre has been appointed as the new minority affairs secretary. Vijoy Kumar Singh has been appointed as secretary of ex-servicemen welfare department in the defence ministry.
The government has appointed Atul Kumar Tiwari of Karnataka cadre as the secretary in skill development. Gudey Srinivas of Odisha cadre has been appointed as the parliamentary affairs secretary.

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