Omita Paul is Pranab secy

President Pranab Mukherjee may have moved out of North Block but he is expected to take most of his personal staff from the Finance Ministry to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Even as his long-time aide Omita Paul, 63, was appointed as Secretary to the President on Wednesday, three other officers from the Finance Ministry are slated to join his team.

Rajneesh, who served as Mukherjee's private secretary in the Finance Ministry, is tipped to be appointed as PS to the President.

Two officers on special duty (OSDs) in the Finance Ministry Pradeep Gupta and Suresh Yadav are also likely to join him in Rashtrapati Bhavan in the same role. Gupta belongs to the Indian Defence Accounts Service while Yadav is an Indian Revenue Service officer.

Sources said the appointments are likely to take place over the next few days.

Paul's appointment was approved by the Cabinet appointments committee on a contract basis, in the rank and pay of Secretary to the Government of India.

An official release said Paul's tenure would be on co-terminus basis with the tenure of the President from the date of joining or till she ceases to function or until further orders.

Known to be close to Mukherjee, Paul served with him when he was Planning Commission deputy chairperson and during his stints in the Commerce and External Affairs ministries in the early 1990s.

She was also with him during his more recent roles as defence minister, external affairs minister and finance minister in the UPA-I and UPA-II governments.

Paul was appointed as information commissioner for a short time towards the end of the UPA-I government's tenure, but resigned to join as advisor to the finance ministry when Mukherjee was entrusted with the portfolio in the UPA-II government.

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