Upon request of Shri A K Sharma for Voluntary Retirement under Rule 16(2) of the AIS(DCRB) Rules, 1958 by his Cadre Authority i.e. Government of Gujarat, Shri Arvind Kumar Sharma IAS (RR:1988), Secretary, M/o Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises stands voluntarily retired from Government service with effect from the afternoon of 11 Jan, 2021.
Shri A K Sharma today assumed charge as Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in New Delhi. Shri Sharma took over the charge of Secretary after superannuation of Shri Arun Kumar Panda (IAS:1984:Odisha) on April 30 this year. Prior to this appointment, Shri Sharma was serving as Additional Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office.
He is 1988 batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre. Shri Sharma has worked in the Government of Gujarat for long at various positions including field and policy level and as Secretary to the Chief Minister of Gujarat. He has extensive experience in grass root regulatory and developmental administration. He was recognized with the best District Development Officer when he worked in Vadodara District.
He was known for his contribution in industrialization of Gujarat as Managing Director of Industrial Extension Bureau and as a pioneer of the Vibrant Gujarat experiment. His experience in infrastructure is equally noteworthy since he held the position of CEO of Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board (GIDB) for a long time. During these years, GIDB was acclaimed as the most admired infrastructure agency of the country. His contribution in setting up the Gujarat section of dedicated freight corridor and Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor as well as Dholera special investment region is also highly talked about. He created on-line administrative processes which are internationally acclaimed.
His experience of more than a decade in industry and infrastructure sectors would particularly bring lot of value in his present assignment of rejuvenating and championing the MSME Sector. While taking over, Shri Sharma appealed and emphasized upon the officers of Ministry of MSME to be vigilant on hourly basis and work hard to see that the businesses, their owners, their vendors and workers are able to sail through this unprecedented COVID resultant economic crisis. He also added that we have to work on a war footing in the coming days with this purpose.
As Secretary MSME, Sharma will handle a key area that the Prime Minister wants to focus on to make India self-reliant. As Additional Secretary in the PMO, Sharma was in charge of infrastructure and was promoted as full Secretary early this month. He was the key official who handled the Prime Minister’s monthly PRAGATI exercise that reviewed key Central government programmes and Centre-state projects.
Sharma’s transfer as Secretary MSME is stated by officials in the Union Ministry as part of the Prime Minister’s plans for India’s economic revival in the post-lockdown scenario. The MSMEs, which employ 120 million Indians, account for 33.4 per cent of India’s manufacturing output and 45 per cent of overall exports, are in the doldrums following the nationwide lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Arvind Kumar Sharma, a 1988-batch IAS officer and Joint Secretary in PMO, definitely wields some power. And, that is because of his experience in dealing with industry as part of Modi’s office as Gujarat chief minister, says a source. His contribution in organising the Vibrant Gujarat summit and getting the Tata Nano plant moved to Sanand are said to be among the reasons why Modi trusts Sharma. “It’s rare that an officer of the joint secretary rank has so much say in governance,” points out another informed person.