The government has begun the search for India's new chief economic adviser (CEA), as KV Subramanian announced that he would be returning to academics after his term gets over on December 7.
Principal economic adviser Sanjeev Sanyal is expected to helm the drafting of the 2021-22 Economic Survey. As the government begins to prepare for the 2022-23 Union Budget, Sanyal is being considered as a potential candidate for the post of CEA.
A committee headed by Bimal Jalan, former Reserve Bank of India governor, was tasked to find the new CEA after Arvind Subramanian quit in 2018. There could be a panel this time too, to appoint India's next CEA.
Subramanian on Friday announced that he would be returning to academia after the successful completion of his three-year term as the CEA. Subramanian took charge on December 7, 2018, five months after his predecessor Arvind Subramanian abruptly resigned citing family commitments.
His last Survey made a strong pitch for an increased health outlay because of the pandemic and also pushed for a regulator for the sector. Subramanian has also been vocal in his criticism of credit rating agencies and their assessment of India, which, according to him, did not reflect the country's true potential.
Subramanian's tenure was marked by a rough patch for the Indian economy. The slowdown that began before the pandemic only got worse with the outbreak of Covid-19. Several studies have shown that the working class, especially migrant workers, were the worst impacted by the pandemic. Some markers do point towards recovery, but several of these are aided by a low-base effect.
"Its been a delight to work with Subramanian. His academic brilliance, unique perspectives on key economic and well policy matters and reformist zeal are noteworthy. Wishing him the very best for his coming endeavours," prime minister Narendra Modi tweeted after the CEA announced his decision.
Subramanian had informed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as well as the prime minister a few weeks ago that he wasn't keen on continuing as CEA beyond his current tenure that ends on December 7. He would go back to teaching at the Indian School of Business.