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India may Get its First Woman CEA

November 21, 2018 06:06 AM

COURTESY ET NOV 21

India may Get its First Woman CEA
World Bank economist Poonam Gupta on radar; JPMorgan’s Sajjid Chinoy may be considered too
Deepshikha.Sikarwar@timesgroup.com

New Delhi:

India could soon get its first woman chief economic advisor (CEA) with the post having fallen vacant at the end of Arvind Subramanian’s extended term in August. The government is looking at fresh faces for one of the most important advisory roles in the administration though only about six months remain of the Narendra Modi government’s five-year term, said people with knowledge of the matter.


Among those on radar is Poonam Gupta, lead economist for India at the World Bank, they said. Prior to that, she was the Reserve Bank of India chair professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP).

Other names said to be under consideration include Sajjid Chinoy, chief India economist at JPMorgan, and Krishnamurthy Subramanian, a professor at the Indian School of Business.

The government feels that even though its tenure is coming to an end, it would like to appoint a chief economic advisor to help with advice in times of global turmoil.

“We are looking at fresh faces and a committee is looking at candidates,” said a person familiar with the deliberations.

Subramanian was initially appointed for three years after which he was given a 12-month extension, which ended in August.

The government has constituted a search committee headed by former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Bimal Jalan to look for his successor.

The last two chief economic advisors — Raghuram Rajan and Subramanian — had IMF-World Bank experience and an academic background. If Gupta is appointed, it will be a continuation of that trend.

Before this, Ila Patnaik was principal economic advisor to the government from May 2014 to December 2015, part of the period when there was no CEA as Rajan had moved to the RBI as governor and the incoming Modi government had not yet appointed a successor. She authored the economic survey for FY14

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