The finance ministry said today that most of the external economists have left the government because of personal reasons. The ministry has stated this within days of Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian quitting ahead of his tenure citing pressing family commitments. The other important external economist to leave the government before the completion of his term was Arvind Panagariya — the first vice chairman of the Niti Aayog.
He had decided last year to return to academics in the US and is currently a professor of economics at Columbia University. “Most of the external economic experts in the Union Government have cited personal reasons for stepping down,” Minister of State for Finance Pon Radhakrishnan said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
Answering a question by two senior Congress MPs from Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia, the minister also said there was no proposal to come out with a “white paper” on the economic situation of the country.
To a question by a BJP member, Radhakrishnan said the GDP recorded a growth of 7.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal. He further said the introduction of the GST has provided a significant opportunity to improve growth momentum by reducing barriers to trade, business and related economic activities.
In another reply, the minister also said the government has not undertaken any specific study to assess the impact of structural reforms on the economy. However, Economic Surveys of 2016-17 and 2017-18 (prepared by Subramanian) have highlighted the consequences of these reform measures on the economy.