Arvind Panagariya, NITI Aayog's Vice Chairman, may just bag the post of the next RBI (Reserve Bank of India) governor.
Arvind Panagariya, NITI Aayog’s Vice Chairman, may just bag the post of the next RBI (Reserve Bank of India) governor. According to some reports, PM Narendra Modi is likely to opt for Panagariya over former RBI Deputy Governors Subir Gokarn and Rakesh Mohan.
Arvind Panagariya holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University and is currently a Professor of Economics and the Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
With reports of Panagariya taking over from Raghuram Rajan doing the rounds, we take a look at eight recent things the renowned economist has said about the Indian economy, growth prospects, reforms, Modi government and UPA II:
1) Reforms path: Panagariya has credited the Modi government for putting the economy on the path of reform to achieve a high growth trajectory while acknowledging that there are significant lags between policy decisions and outcomes which need to be addressed.
Panagariya feels that challenges such as restoration of the health of banks and accelerated growth in the manufacturing sector as envisaged by the Centre’s Make in India programme to achieve job growth continue to remain. However, he said the direction of progress is right.
2) Linking Aadhaar to Jan Dhan a master stroke: Aadhaar was a very important stepping stone, but still its potential could not have been realised for the delivery of social programmes without the beneficiaries having bank accounts, and that is where Jan-Dhan accounts was a master stroke, Panagariya has said.
It is clear to me that the Prime Minister was thinking in a holistic way when he made the decision to keep Aadhaar—he also saw that he will not be able to use it effectively without the beneficiaries having bank accounts, Panagariya told Financial Express in an interview.
3) Blames UPA for 1991 crisis: Blaming the second term of the UPA government for taking the economy to 1991 crisis level, Panagariya said that the present government should be assessed not on what it inherited, but what it did over the last two years.
4) Strategic divestment in PSUs within 6 months: Government is expected to go ahead with the strategic divestment in public sector units (PSUs) within the next six months besides closing down sick firms that are beyond revival. Panagariya said NITI Aayog has done a report on identifying the units that are sick and may need to be closed down. In 2015-16, the government failed to meet its divestment target and could generate only Rs 25,312 crore as against its expected proceeds of Rs 69,500 crore.
5) Expanding tax base: Expanding tax base is an important instrument for expanding revenues. Our tax base tends to be a bit narrow. If GST goes through, it will give us another big avenue to expand the tax base.
6) Defends creation of NITI Aayog: Panagariya recently defended the creation of NITI Aayog in place of Planning Commission and said the role of planning too is poised for a change. NITI Aayog is now working on a 15-year vision plan complemented by a seven-year strategy and a three-year short-run macro framework plan, he said.
7) Policy paralysis has ended: Today, the economy is far healthier compared to the last year of UPA II in all macroeconomic parameters. The current government ended the paralysis by clearing numerous projects.
8) 8%-plus growth: Panagariya believes that India’s economic growth will cross the 8% mark this fiscal on the back of good monsoon and pick up in manufacturing. Good Monsoon will push farm sector growth to 4-5 per cent this year, he has said.
(With inputs from Agencies)