New Delhi: The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet on Wednesday appointed 11 new secretaries to various government departments, months ahead of the Union Budget 2018 to be presented on 1 February.

Environment secretary Ajay Narayan Jha will succeed Ashok Lavasa as the secretary in the expenditure department in the finance ministry. An IAS officer of the 1982 Manipur-Tripura cadre, Jha will immediately join as officer on special duty in the department and take charge as secretary after Lavasa retires later in October.

Health and family welfare secretary C.K. Mishra will replace Jha as the new secretary in charge of environment, forests and climate change.

The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet also appointed sports secretary Injeti Srinivas as the new corporate affairs secretary in the finance ministry. Gopal Krishna, currently serving in his home cadre of West Bengal, has been appointed as the shipping secretary. Uttar Pradesh cadre IAS officer Rahul Prasad Bhatnagar will be the new sports secretary.

Preeti Sudan, secretary of department of food and public distribution, has been assigned the charge of health and family welfare. Current shipping secretary Ravi Kant will take up her role in the food ministry.

Alok Shrivastava, currently special secretary in the shipping ministry, has been appointed as the new secretary in the department of justice.

Other cabinet secretary appointments include K.V. Eapen (department of administrative reforms & public grievances and pensions & pensioners’ welfare), Shakuntala Gamlin (department of empowerment of persons with disabilities) and Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha (AYUSH ministry).

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