Millennium Post

US puppet IMF’s man Subramanian now India’s chief economic advisor

Government has brought in a new team at the Finance Ministry shunting out Finance Secretary Arvind Mayaram and inducting US-based economist Arvind Subramanian as Chief Economic Advisor as it prepares the groundwork for its first full-fledged Budget next February.

59-year-old Mayaram has been shifted to low-profile Tourism Ministry and was replaced by Rajasthan Chief Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, his batchmate in the state cadre of 1978.

Mayaram, the senior most among the four secretaries in the ministry, was brought into Finance Ministry by the previous UPA government. He was also Secretary, Economic Affairs.

Oxford-educated Subramanian, who was economist with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) like his predecessor Raghuram Rajan, is an alumnus of IIM-Ahmedabad and St Stephen's College, Delhi.

The post of CEA has been lying vacant since Rajan's elevation as RBI Governor more than a year ago. ‘For any economy like India, the two big things are macro economic stability and of course creating conditions for rapid investment and growth.

‘While creating opportunity for all segments of Indian society, no one should be left out of this process,’ he told reporters after taking charge as CEA.

The ministry has already begun the groundwork for the Budget for 2015-16 that will be presented in February. After it came to power in May this year, the government presented a Budget in August the remaining part of the financial year.

The Finance Ministry has four secretaries — Economic Affairs, Expenditure, Revenue and Financial Services. The senior most among the four is designated Finance Secretary.

At present, Ratan P Watal, a 1978 batch IAS officer from Andhra Pradesh is Expenditure Secretary while 1980-batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre Gurdial Singh Sandhu is the Financial Services Secretary. Shaktikanta Das, an IAS officer of 1980 batch from Tamil Nadu cadre, is Revenue Secretary. Mayaram's transfer was part of the first major Secretary- level reshuffle undertaken by the Modi government.

Mayaram's replacement Mehrishi has 10 more months in service and had previously worked in the finance ministry.

In all, 20 new appointments were made on Wednesday, one-third being at the Secretary level.

Subramanian has been appointed for a three-year period beginning Thursday. He will be in the rank and pay of Secretary to Government of India.
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