Kumar, a 1986 batch IAS officer of the Jharkhand cadre, replaces Subhash Chandra Garg, who was shifted to the Power Ministry as the Secretary.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appoinment of Kumar as the Finance Secretary.
There were speculations whether Kumar, or the current Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, would be the Finance Secretary as both had joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) on the same day - August 21, 1984. However, Kumar is senior to Pandey by age.
The coveted position of Finance Secretary goes to the senior-most official in the ministry.
Last week, in a surprise move, the government announced the transfer of Garg to the Power Ministry, among other transfers and elevations. The transfer was seen as a demotion for Garg, as the designation of Finance Secretary is one of the most coveted positions in bureaucratic circles and usually goes to the senior-most official in the ministry.
Following the transfer, reports surfaced that Garg has sought voluntary retirement from the government. Later, the senior bureaucrat said that his decision seeking voluntary retirement has no connection with his recent transfer and that he had conveyed his decision to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on July 18, much before the announcement of his transfer. He, however, added a formal application to the PMO was sent on July 24, the day his new appointment was announced.