FMs advisor quits ahead of Budget

Written by Economy Bureau | New Delhi, Dec 28 | Updated: Dec 29 2007, 04:29am hrs
Finance minister P Chidambaram will now have to look for a new advisor. Parthasarathi Shome, adviser to the finance minister, has put in his papers. The resignation has been accepted and Shome is set to leave his post with effect from January 11, sources said.

With Shomes resignation, Chidambaram will have a new-look Budget team. Other than expenditure secretary Sanjeev Mishra, the team will have all new faces.

Finance secretary D Subba Rao, revenue secretary PV Bhide and disinvestments secretary Pradeep Kumar took charge of their offices this fiscal. The post of secretary financial services will also become vacant after Vinod Rai joins as the comptroller and auditor general of India on January 7. Chief economic adviser Arvind Virmani is also a new face in the North Block.

Shomes three-year contract beginning October 1 2004 had recently been extended till October 2009. It is still not clear what his next assignment would be. Shome was unavailable for any comments.

Shome is considered to be the thinktank on major tax-related initiatives in recent times, including the introduction of the banking cash transaction tax and the fringe benefit tax. He was also the finance ministrys representative in the empowered committee of state finance ministers and was co-convener of a working group on the goods and services tax.