Ajay Narayan Jha (born 15 January 1959) is a 1982 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Manipur cadre. He currently is the Expenditure Secretary of India.
Jha has BA (Honours) and MA in history from St. Stephens College at University of Delhi, a postgraduate degree in executive development from John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and has a certificate in French.
Jha has served in various key positions for both the Government of India and the Government of Manipur, like as Principal Secretary (Finance), Principal Secretary (Environment and Forests), chairman of Manipur Renewable Energy Development Agency (MREDA), principal secretary to the Chief Minister of Manipur, secretary to the Governor of Manipur, and as the deputy commissioner and district magistrate of Ukhrul and Churachandpur districts in the Manipur government and as Union Expenditure Secretary, Union Environment, Forests and Climate Change Secretary, special secretary in Department of Expenditure of the Ministry of Finance, joint secretary and financial adviser in Department of Higher Education of the Ministry of Human Resources Development, and as joint secretary and financial adviser in Ministry of Law and Justice.
Jha also served as consultant to United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). In addition, Jha served as the secretary of Fourteenth Finance Commission, a deputy election commissioner in the Election Commission of India and as Joint Secretary (Administration) in the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, on deputation, under rule 6(2)(ii) of the Indian Administrative Service (Cadre) Rules, 1956.
Jha was appointed as the Union Environment, Forests and Climate Change Secretary by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) in April 2016, he assumed the office of secretary on 1 May 2016, and demitted it on 10 October 2017.
Jha was appointed as the Union Expenditure Secretary by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) in October 2017, succeeding Ashok Lavasa, he was made officer on special duty (OSD), in the rank of secretary, till Lavasa's retirement. Jha assumed the office of secretary on 31 October 2017.
During his tenure as the Union Expenditure Secretary, Jha has been regarded as one of the most important people in the Ministry of Finance.