Senior bureaucrat Girish Chandra Murmu, who was last Friday named as the first lieutenant governor (L-G) of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, is set to play a key role in the militancy-hit region that has come under New Delhi’s direct rule.
Murmu, a 1985 batch IAS officer, is currently serving as secretary in the Union finance ministry’s expenditure department. His appointment as L-G is from the day he takes charge—31 October. A key figure in finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s team handling the Union budget, he had been deeply involved in matters of finance, banking, revenue and public spending. Murmu, who hails from Odisha, belongs to the Gujarat cadre and worked closely with PM Narendra Modi during his tenure as Gujarat CM.
Murmu will preside over the Modi-led administration’s efforts to normalize the region, quell militancy, attract investments and improve the quality of life.
“Murmu is a very focused, hard-working bureaucrat, who always maintained a low profile. He is a seasoned officer, who has worked across various departments in the central and as well as in the state (Gujarat) government," said a retired bureaucrat who had worked with him.
As additional secretary in the department of financial services, Murmu was behind the massive ₹2.11 trillion capital infusion into state-owned banks in 2017, as well as in banks’ consolidation announced earlier this year.
“Law and order and speedy development will be the immediate priority of the new administrators of J&K, A.K. Verma, a Kanpur-based political analyst and political science professor at Christ Church College.