CEA office lies vacant after Arvind Subramanian’s departure; here’s what government is doing next

By: | Updated: August 6, 2018 12:45 PM

Arvind Subaramanian, who made economic surveys interesting and gave many crucial policy recommendations to the government, cut short his stint with the Finance Ministry due to "pressing family commitments".

CEA office lies vacant after Arvind Subramanian's departure; here's what government is doing nextCEA office lies vacant after Arvind Subramanian’s departure; here’s what government is doing next

After Arvind Subramanian’s departure from the office of Chief Economic Advisor on July 26, the Narendra Modi government is looking for a new CEA and has received about 15-18 applications, Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) said.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Subhash Chandra Garg said that soon a committee will be set up to appoint the new CEA from the applicants, which could take about three to four months. The CEA’s office was also vacant for one year when the then CEA Raghuram Rajan was appointed Reserve Bank governor.

The last date for submitting the application for the post of the CEA was July 28, he told the news channel. Arvind Subramanian, who made economic surveys interesting and gave many crucial policy recommendations to the government, cut short his stint with the Finance Ministry due to “pressing family commitments”.

Appointed in October 2014 for three years after Raghuram Rajan’s departure, Arvind Subramanian served a little less than four years under the Narendra Modi government and called it the “best job” he ever had. His tenure was extended in October 2017 for one year.

“So, as the lights go out, the exit door beckons, and the succession gets under way, it is worth reflecting on this unique Indian institution of the CEA. It seems worthy of preservation and nurturing,” Arvind Subramanian said in a Financial Express column.

A firm believer of the fact that good economics is good politics too, Arvind Subramanian recently coined a term called ‘stigmatised capitalism’, which, he said, has replaced the term ‘crony capitalism’. Post the release of Economic Survey Report 2018, which made parallel mentions of Bollywood dialogue and Shakespeare quotes among others, Arvind Subramanian said he can claim royalty over coining the phrase ‘stigmatised capitalism’.

Through stigmatised capitalism, Arvind Subramanian was referring to the problem of Twin Balance Sheet (TBS) in the banks. Arvind Subramanian said that the public view of the TBS problem was that promoters in India had “little skin in the game” and the country had “capitalism without equity”.

The survey said that the public formed a negative perception of the Indian capital which was little liability instead of limited liability. Arvind Subramanian plans to “return to a life of researching, writing, teaching, and reflecting”.

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