Arvind Panagariya resigns as Niti Aayog Vice Chairman: Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya has said he will leave the government think tank on August 31. Panagariya, who had joined Niti Aayog as first Vice Chairman in January 2015, said he would return to the teaching profession at Columbia University in US. It has been learned that the sudden departure of the high profile academic-economist has brought out the difference of opinions between the think-tank and other wings of the government, according to Indian Express report. In the Niti Aayog, a number of key initiatives were handled by other high-ranking officials of the think-tank. This is unlike the erstwhile Planning Commission, where deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia used to be the final authority after the Prime Minister, as per IE report. This led to rise of multiple power centres within the organisation.
1. Following the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much debated demonetisation, Panagariya had written letter to PMO on the possibility of taxpayers being harassed. Panagariya had suggested that there should be no questions asked on cash deposits up to Rs 2.5 lakh.
2. During the first two years of the NDA government, Panagariya was reportedly unhappy with the pace of reforms undertaken by the government.
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3. The document, which was released in April this year, also flagged the fundamental issue in the country’s expenditure planning which had a “strong tendency” towards revenue expenditure at the expense of capital expenditure. It also noted that within revenue expenditure, subsidies had overshadowed expenditure on social sectors such as health and education.
4. RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch had slammed the Niti Aayog over its functioning and various recommendations put forth by it including for sectors such as agriculture and health.
5. Another difference came to the fore when Panagariya, India’s sherpa to the G20, had said in Seotember last at the G20 summit in Hangzhou that India was not ready “in terms of domestic actions” to ratify the Paris agreement on climate by the end of 2016. But later that month, at the BJP’s national council meeting in Kozhikode, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India would ratify the Paris accord on October 2.