Budget 2018: Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) Arvind Subramanian is the individual who is tasked with the preparation of Economic Survey 2018. The Economic Survey, the most authoratative review document on the annual economic development of the country, is an annual exercise carried out just ahead of the presentation of the Union Budget. This is the fourth Economic Survey under Subramanian’s watch. The Economic Survey report 2017-18 has estimated the economic growth rate in the fiscal year 2019 between 7% and 7.5%. The survey has said that the rising crude oil price has become a major concern and is expected to grow by average 12% in the FY19. The chief economic advisor was due to retire on 16 October 2016, but his term was extended for one year.
Who is Arvind Subramanian?
Appointed India’s Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) in October 2014, Subramanian is a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Apart from his regular jobs – mid-year analysis and Economic Survey – Subramanian has also authored the highly acclaimed “Report on the Revenue Neutral Rate and Structure of Rates for the Goods and Services Tax (GST)” in December 2015. The document laid down the broad contours for implementing GST in India from July 1, 2017. It is worth mentioning here that Budget 2018 is the last full India Budget before Lok Sabha elections 2018.
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As per his profile on Peterson Institute for International Economics, Subramanian has also served as senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. Subramanian is the author of a number of books on Indian and world economy. His book “Eclipse: Living in the Shadow of China’s Economic Dominance” was published in September 2011. He is the co-author of “Who Needs to Open the Capital Account? (2012). In 2011, the Foreign Policy magazine named him among one of the world’s top 100 global thinkers. In Budget 2018, he will use all his experience to bring in one of the most crucial documents for the economy.
Earlier, Subhramanian has served as assistant director in the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund. He was also associated with GATT (1988–92) during the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations. He has also taught at some of the premier world schools. The CEA has formerly worked with Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government (1999–2000) and at Johns Hopkins’ School for Advanced International Studies (2008–10). Now, are all eyes are set on how he affects Budget 2018.
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With Economic Survey of India, the CEA has set the ball rolling for Budget 2018. Subramanian’s work has been widely published in academic and other journals, including the American Economic Review (Papers and Proceedings), Journal of Development Economics, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of International Economics, Journal of Monetary Economics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Economic Growth, International Monetary Fund Staff Papers, Foreign Affairs, World Economy, and Economic and Political Weekly.
Subramanian, who has an important role to play in preparation of Budget 2018, has also authored columns for many magazines and newspapers – including the Economist, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Financial Times, Washington Post, and New York Review of Books. The CEA has an undergraduate degree from St. Stephens College, Delhi. He has completed his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad and also holds an M.Phil and D.Phil from the University of Oxford, UK.
Role of Chief Economic Advisor
The Chief Economic Advisor is usually the go-to person for advice for the finance minister on macro-economic matters. His primary responsibilities, among others, include authoring the mid-year analysis and the Economic Survey. The exercise to present Economic Survey will be carried out by Subramanian and his team before Budget 2018. The post of the CEA ordinarily carries a three-year tenure, but the government can extend the tenure by one year. The office of CEA is considered one of the crucial government institutions that are important for monitoring performances of various key sectors. In his last Economic Survey, India’s economic growth was pegged at 6.5 per cent for the current fiscal, down from 7.6 per cent recorded in the last financial year, but the document had expected to rebound in the range of 6.75-7.5 per cent in 2017-18.