K Subra­ma­nian ap­pointed chief eco­nomic ad­viser

ISB TO FINMIN K Subra­ma­nian, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at the Cen­tre For An­a­lyt­i­cal Fi­nance at ISB, spe­cial­izes in bank­ing, cor­po­rate gov­er­nance, eco­nomic pol­icy

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Front Page - Gireesh Chan­dra Prasad and Prashant K. Nanda [email protected]

NEW DELHI: The Cen­tre on Fri­day ap­pointed Kr­ish­na­murthy Subra­ma­nian, as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor (Cen­tre for An­a­lyt­i­cal Fi­nance) of the In­dian School of Busi­ness (ISB), Hyderabad, as the new chief eco­nomic ad­viser to the fi­nance minister for a pe­riod of three years. He re­places Arvind Subra­ma­nian, who re­signed from the post on June 20.

NEWDELHI:The gov­ern­ment on Fri­day named Kr­ish­na­murthy Subra­ma­nian, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at the Cen­tre For An­a­lyt­i­cal Fi­nance at the In­dian School of Busi­ness (ISB) in Hyderabad, as its next chief eco­nomic ad­vi­sor ahead of its fi­nal bud­get to be pre­sented early next year.

Subra­ma­nian, 47, spe­cial­izes in bank­ing, cor­po­rate gov­er­nance and eco­nomic pol­icy.

The chief eco­nomic ad­vi­sor in the fi­nance min­istry is a key con­trib­u­tor to the gov­ern­ment’s over­all strat­egy in man­ag­ing the econ­omy and of­fers a cri­tique of the hits and misses through the eco­nomic sur­vey. Raghu­ram Ra­jan, un­der whose ad­vice Subra­ma­nian ob­tained his PhD in fi­nan­cial eco­nomics at the Univer­sity of Chicago’s Booth School of Busi­ness, was the CEA be­fore he be­came the Re­serve Bank of In­dia gover­nor in 2013.

The depart­ment of per­son­nel said the cab­i­net com­mit­tee of ap­point­ment cleared Subra­ma­nian’s ap­point­ment for a term of three years. Ra­jat Kathuria, di­rec­tor and chief ex­ec­u­tive of the In­dian Coun­cil for Re­search on In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomic Re­la­tions (ICRIER) said Subra­ma­nian was a “thought­ful choice” given his ed­u­ca­tional back­ground and pub­lished works.

“For the of­fice of the CEA, the im­me­di­ate chal­lenges in­clude man­ag­ing the fis­cal deficit pro­jected at 3.3% for this year, meet­ing the ₹80,000 crore dis­in­vest­ment tar­get, re­cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion of banks tack­ling the stress in sec­tors like tele­com,” said Kathuria. Cre­at­ing pro­duc­tive jobs in the econ­omy is a medium-term chal­lenge. Phone calls to Subra­ma­nian re­mained unan­swered at the time of pub­lish­ing.

Subra­ma­nian’s ap­point­ment comes at a time when the Na­tional Demo­cratic Al­liance gov­ern­ment is ex­pected to out­line its vi­sion for fur­ther re­forms and in­clu­sive growth in the in­terim bud­get on Fe­bru­ary 1. Al­though the gov­ern­ment has re­sisted pres­sure to take pop­ulist steps in the past, its fi­nal bud­get be­fore na­tional polls is ex­pected to in­clude mea­sures that could ap­peal to dif­fer­ent sec­tions of the so­ci­ety. “The in­terim bud­get is al­ways called the in­terim bud­get, but the con­tents could go be­yond it if nec­es­sary,” said a per­son who is privy to dis­cus­sions in the gov­ern­ment. Next year’s bud­get pro­vi­sions could seek to bal­ance tack­ling eco­nomic chal­lenges with meet­ing po­lit­i­cal ne­ces­si­ties. Subra­ma­nian’s ap­point­ment fol­lows his pre­de­ces­sor Arvind Subra­ma­nian demit­ting of­fice re­cently to pur­sue an aca­demic ca­reer. Early in his term as the CEA, Arvind Subra­ma­nian had listed the ma­jor chal­lenges fac­ing the econ­omy as de­cel­er­at­ing pri­vate in­vest­ments and the twin bal­ance sheet prob­lem—of lenders sad­dled with toxic as­sets and cor­po­rate bor­row­ers de­fault­ing on loans.

A pro­lific com­men­ta­tor on con­tem­po­rary is­sues, Kr­ish­na­murthy Subra­ma­nian in a Novem­ber 23, 2016 ar­ti­cle puband lished in Mint along with his col­league Prasanna Tantri, ar­gued that politi­cians high­light­ing the dif­fi­cul­ties faced by the poor due to de­mon­e­ti­za­tion were “be­ing disin­gen­u­ous in push­ing their claims for po­lit­i­cal gains”.

His elated col­leagues speak of how ‘Subbu’ con­trib­uted to the ISB brand. “Pro­fes­sor Subra­ma­nian has been a very ac­tive con­trib­u­tor to ISB’s in­tel­lec­tual en­vi­ron­ment since he joined us in 2009. This is a very pres­ti­gious ap­point­ment which al­lows a bright, young aca­demic like Subbu to ac­tively help shape the eco­nomic pol­icy of the coun­try,” said Ra­jen­dra Sri­vas­tava, dean, ISB. Subra­ma­nian, who has done ex­ten­sive work on cor­po­rate gov­er­nance, takes up the job at a time the gov­ern­ment is tak­ing mul­ti­ple steps to check what it calls “wide­spread cor­po­rate mal-gov­er­nance” that came to light with the fail­ure of In­fra­struc­ture Leas­ing & Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Ltd.

Subra­ma­nian was in the 21-mem­ber Uday Ko­tak panel that pro­posed gov­er­nance re­forms for listed com­pa­nies in Oc­to­ber 2017.

As part of his cor­po­rate pol­icy work, he also served on the boards of Band­han Bank, the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Bank Man­age­ment, and the RBI Acad­emy.

He is a part of sev­eral pan­els of the Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Board of In­dia such as the Al­ter­nate In­vest­ment Pol­icy Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee, Pri­mary Mar­ket Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee and the Sec­ondary Mar­ket Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee.

Jayshree P. Upad­hyay in Mumbai con­trib­uted to this story.


▪ Kr­ish­na­murthy Subra­ma­nian

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