CM, Chief Secretary come from agricultural background

Chennai: With someone from farming background as the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu and now the State’s top administrative official also being an agriculture enthusiast, the coming days may see some interesting developments in the field of agriculture.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has often said he is from a farmer’s family and that his government will work for the betterment of farmers.

Several schemes were announced to lift up the agricultural sector. Among the several schemes introduced by him, the kudimaramathu scheme is said to be his pet project.

K Shanmugam, who assumed charge as the Chief Secretary of the State Sunday, is from an agricultural background. Shanmugam is also an alumnus of the Tamilnadu Agricultural University and holds a postgraduate degree in agricultural economics.

He is known for his interest in topics related to farming. Sources said in his early days as Finance Secretary, Shanmugam would often say that he would like to be the Agriculture Secretary which did not happen.

Though he did not hold any official post in the agricultural department, he still worked closely with the department.

Recently, he went to Chinnamanur, in Theni district, along with Principal Secretary for Agriculture Gagandeep Singh Bedi to oversee the application of modern trends in banana cultivation and post-harvest practices.

Shanmugam was appointed new Chief Secretary by the government Saturday. Prior to that he was holding the post of Finance Secretary since 2010 with the change in regime not affecting him.

Shanmugam has served as Sub-Collector of Cheranmahadevi in Tirunelveli district, following which he was made Collector of Sivaganga and Pudukottai districts.

He has played several other roles such as the Director of Rural Development (DRD) and Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Tamilnadu Civil Supplies Corporation.

He was picked for the post of Finance Secretary in May 2010 during the DMK regime.

He succeeds Girija Vaidyanathan, who was given a farewell party Friday evening. She had taken charge in December 2016 after Income-Tax searches at the house and official premises of then Chief Secretary P Rama Mohan Rao. Her tenure came to an end 30 June.

Shanmugam is the 46th Chief Secretary of the State. A 1985-batch IAS officer, Shanmugam will hold office till his superannuation.

Balasubramani Muniyandi