Arvind Subramanian Resigns As Chief Economic Advisor

Arvind Subramanian

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After spending four years in India as chief economic advisor, Arvind Subramanian left the job to return to America for personal reasons.

Earlier during the day, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in a Facebook post thanked Subramanian and signaled that the economist is on his way out from his current role in the ministry of finance-advising the government on key economic issues.

Jaitley, who is now recuperating from a kidney ailment, said that he spoke to Subramanian over a video call and requested him to continue for some more time but due to certain pressing family commitments, he chose to quit. His reasons were personal but extremely important for him. "He left me with no option but to agree with him", Jaitley said in a Facebook post. On the completion of three years, he was asked to continue for a year more, which would have taken his term to October 2018. "CEA job most rewarding, fulfilling, exciting I have ever had", read his tweet.

"Personally I will miss his dynamism, energy, intellectual ability and ideas", Mr. Jaitley added. Needless to say his departure will be missed by me. I wish Arvind Subramanian and his family all the very best.

The CEA is usually the key go-to person for advice for the finance minister on macro-economic matters, and primary responsibilities, among others, include authoring the mid-year analysis and the Economic Survey.

Subramanian, whom the Foreign Policy magazine had named as one of the world's top 100 global thinkers in 2011, has also been ranked amongst the top 1 per cent of the world's academic economists in terms of citation of research, according to the widely used REPEC rankings.

Subramanian's highly acclaimed "Report on the Revenue Neutral Rate and Structure of Rates for the Goods and Services Tax (GST)" in December 2015, served as a guidebook for the eventual rollout of India's most ambitious tax reform that kicked in from July previous year, seeking to unite the country into a single common tax market.

Arvind Subramanian had joined Chief Economic Advisor on October 16, 2014. Reportedly, he had participated in all the meeting conducted by the government during the process of implementing the new tax regime-GST, Jan Dhan, Aadhar, Mobile scheme etc. He has been on leave from the institute during the time he has been India's chief economic adviser. He came out with newer ideas, policy reforms in the sectors of clothing, fertilizers, kerosene, power and pulses. His report on the Revenue Neutral Rate was of great use in forging a consensus which led to the constitution amendment enabling GST, Jaitley wrote.

".He was heard in rapt attention by nearly every Finance Minister", wrote Jaitley.

Subramanian quit owing to family commitments, Jaitley said in his FB post.

"I would be leaving in a month or two", Subramanian said, adding that he was expecting a grandchild in September. He launched the Government's online education platform "Swayam", which became one of the most followed courses in India.

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