The Centre on Friday gave a three-month extension to Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha, the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions said in a press statement. As per existing rules, a cabinet secretary’s total term with extensions could not go beyond four years.

In a notification issued on Friday, the Centre amended the All India Services (Death-Cum-Retirement-Benefits) Rules, 1958. “The Central Government may, if it considers necessary in public interest to do so, give an extension in service for a further period, not exceeding three months, beyond the period of four years to the Cabinet Secretary,” the amendment states.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he approved Sinha’s extension in service for three more months, beyond June 12, 2019. The cabinet secretariat is under the direct charge of the prime minister.

Before Sinha, Ajit Kumar Seth and KM Chandrasekhar held the post for four years each.

This is the third extension given to Sinha, whose tenure was increased by one-year each in 2017 and 2018. It also makes him the longest-serving bureaucrat in the post in the last seven decades, reported PTI.

He was appointed cabinet secretary, which is the top post in the country’s bureaucracy, in May 2015, for a fixed two-year term. Sinha, a 1977-batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, has earlier served as the power secretary. He has also worked in several other important positions in the Union government.

The administrative head of the secretariat is the cabinet secretary. They are also the ex-officio chairman of the civil services board. A cabinet secretariat’s role is to assist the government in decision-making by ensuring inter-ministerial coordination, sort out differences between ministries and departments and get a consensus using the instrumentality of the standing or ad-hoc committees of secretaries. They also manage major crisis situations in the country and coordinate activities of various ministries.