Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recollected CEA Arvind Subramanian’s many contributions to India’s economy in his service — which lasted for nearly four years — which ranged from conceptualising JAM (Jan Dhan, Aadhar, Mobile) database to his four widely appreciated “Economic Surveys”. Arun Jaitley announced Chief Economic Advisor’s resignation through a Facebook post on Wednesday, highlighting his many offerings to the economy. Subramanian had joined as the Chief Economic Advisor on 16 October 2014 for a period of three years, but continued to serve for nearly four years.
Arun Jaitley noted Arvind Subramanian’s input making GST a reality — arguably India’s biggest indirect tax reform, saying that his report on the Revenue Neutral Rate was of great use in forging a consensus which led to the constitution amendment enabling the Goods and Services Tax. “He participated in every meeting of GST, gave his independent views and was heard in rapt attention by almost every Finance Minister,” Arun Jaitley said.
Pointing out the fact that the Chief Economic Advisor’s job had multi-facets to it, the Finance Minister said that as an Advisor, Arvind Subramanian’s job was to analyse and think several steps ahead. “It is a unique responsibility with freedom to the work that he enjoys. Arvind functioned within these parameters and concentrated on the challenges to the economy,” Jaitley said.
“His early diagnosis of the twin balance-sheet had led us to adopt the macro-economic strategy of higher public investment in the Budget of 2015-16. He conceptualised JAM (Jan Dhan, Aadhar, Mobile) as a database for availing public benefits,” Jaitley said in his post. The Finance Minister said that CEA Subramanian contributed to the debate of federalism by conceptualising that the Indian federalism has not merely to be cooperative but also competitive. “He came out with newer ideas, policy reforms in the sectors of clothing, fertilizers, kerosene, power and pulses,” said Jaitley.
CEA Subramanian’s four “Economic Surveys” were treated by several independent critics as the “best ever produced”, said Jaitley. “The latest survey had about 15 million visitors from 117 countries. The Economic Survey today is a basic teaching material all over India,” Jaitley said, adding: “He thought ahead and, therefore, came out with futuristic ideas on rationalisation of removal of “subsidies for the rich”, universal basic income, climate change, from “socialism without entry and capitalism without exit” and the four C’s that he had historically paralysed decision making.”
Jaitley wrote about Arvind’s conduction of the first online course on Indian economy — online education platform “Swayam” — which became one of the most followed courses in India. “He travelled across the country and spoke on public platforms on economic issues to elevate the quality of public discourse. He built up a strong team of both “insiders” and “outsiders” in the Economic Division of the Ministry,” he said.