Breaking the shackles of the past, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has initiated the exercise for his dream budget slated for February next year while constituting his new core team.
Last week, Modi brought two major changes first by appointing US based renowned economists Arvind Subramanian as Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) to the Government of India.
The second key appointment on the same day was Rajiv Mehrishi, (IAS Rajasthan 1978) who will be the next Finance Secretary. As a prelude to the coveted posting he was appointed as Secretary, Department of Economic affairs replacing Arvind Mayaram, his own batch mate
Mehrishi and Arvind will give new direction to the budget and the way the Indian economy will surge in the coming days to keep pave the promises made by Modi.
Subramanian, who is a Dennis Weatherstone Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, will be serving in the Finance Ministry of the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who took office in May of this year.
Prolific author of many books, scholarly papers, and op-ed columns about Indian economic policy, international trade, and long-run growth will take a leave of absence from the Institute. sources said.
Since joining the Institute in 2007, Arvind has been one of the most innovative and independent thinkers about trade and growth in the world, and has been the leading constructive critic of Indian economic policy. His press commentary and congressional testimony have increased understanding in the US of and for the gap between India's economic potential and performance.
As CEA, Subramanian will have multiple tasks, including analyzing and advising on macro-economic and other policies, and preparing the annual Economic Survey, which evaluates the state of India's economy.
Subramanian's wide-ranging academic and policy research covers India, China, economic growth and development, trade, climate change, and the World Trade Organization. He is currently ranked among the top 1 percent of economists worldwide in terms of research citations. In addition, he is the author of India's Turn: Understanding the Economic Transformation (Oxford University Press, 2008), and coauthor of Who Needs to Open the Capital Account? (PIIE, 2012). His Institute book Eclipse: Living in the Shadow of China's Economic Dominance was published in September 2011 and named a Best Book of 2012 by China Business News. Foreign Policy magazine named him one of the world's top 100 global thinkers in 2011.
The Finance Ministry has four secretaries - Economic Affairs, Expenditure, Revenue and Financial Services. The senior most among the four is designated Finance Secretary.
Mehrishi appointment is considered crucial as the Government prepares the groundwork for its first full-fledged Budget next February.
The post of CEA has been lying vacant since Rajan's elevation as RBI Governor more than a year ago.