Arvind Panagariya, 63, is currently the vice chairman of NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog, a policy commission. Headed by the Prime Minister, it's a substitute for the previous Soviet-style Planning Commission and is designed to function as a think-tank and policy forum. A free-market economist, he is an advocate of growth-supportive policies.
He was one of the most vocal supporters of Modi's 'Gujarat model of growth'. He has authored several books, including "Why Growth Matters", which examines how market-driven economic growth is vital to reduce poverty. The former chief economist of the Asian Development Bank was one of the architects of the labour reforms in the Western Indian state of Rajasthan that made it easier for companies to hire and fire workers.
In the past, Panagariya supported loosening of fiscal deficit targets to create space for more capital spending. His speciality is on trade, and as the country's negotiator at Group of 20 gatherings, he has criticised China's massive yuan devaluation and has also argued that India's relatively less-weaker currency is hurting its exports.
In terms of monetary policy, Panagariya, with a doctorate in economics from Princeton University, has been a proponent of setting a higher consumer inflation target than 4 percent, which at present, is set between 2 per cent and 6 per cent. That could raise expectations that he would be more willing to ease policy. (Express Photo)