I don't run in race, says Chhetri after winning one for chief secretary

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Secretary at the National Vigilance Center Dhan Bahadur Tamang, Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi and Education Secretary Shanta Bahadur Shrestha were in contention for the post of chief administrator of the country with Chief Secretary Som Lal Subedi set to leave for Manila, Philippines to serve as an alternate director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Tamang retired on Wednesday with expiry of his five-year term as secretary after Subedi did not resign by Tuesday. The Shanta duo, set to retire in October end after expiry of five-year term, was still in race after Tamang's retirement. But the Cabinet meeting Thursday morning has promoted seemingly low-profile Secretary at the Ministry of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation Rajendra Kishore Chhetri to the post of chief secretary.

Government Spokesperson and Finance Minister Gyanendra Bahadur Karki told Setopati that Chhetri has been appointed chief secretary on the basis of seniority.

Chhetri, who started civil service as a section officer in legal service in 1984, had been promoted to under secretary eight years later. He became joint secretary in 1999 and was promoted to secretary after serving as joint secretary for 13 years.  

His first posting as secretary was at the Law Commission, before being transferred to Energy Ministry, Vice President's Office, Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) and Ministry of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation.

Chhetri, who has his ancestral home in Liglig of Gorkha, now lives in Kalanki, Kathmandu.

He would have retired on July 17 after completion of his five-year term had he not been promoted.

"Yes, I am not someone who runs in a race. I have suffered many a times as a result," he answered when Setopati pointed that he was not considered to be in race for the position. "I want to thank the government for having confidence in me today," he added.

Chhetri, who has a Master's degree in international law from Brussels University in Belgium, has expertise in law. He also has command in infrastructure, development administration, energy and water resources.

He will serve as the chief administrator of the country for three more months before retiring on October 25 due to age limit.

The chances of Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi and Education Secretary Shanta Bahadur Shrestha becoming chief secretary have ended with promotion of Chhetri. Home Secretary Lok Darshan Regmi and Commerce Secretary Ngaindra Prasad Upadhyaya will be in front on seniority after retirement of the Shanta duo in the third week of October.

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