Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian has resigned from his post and is going back to the United States. He cited “pressing family commitments” as the reason for not continuing on the post.
At a pres conference, he said that he had the best job and “also the best job I will ever have”.
“I will go back with best of memories. I will always be committed to serving the country at all times in future,” he said, adding that in Finance Minister Arun Jaitley he had a “dream boss”.
Subramanian was appointed as CEA to the finance ministry on October 16, 2014 for a period of three years. In 2017, his term was extended for a year.
When asked as to when he would be leaving, he said the exact date has not yet been decided
“I would be leaving in a month or two,” Subramanian said, adding that he was expecting a grand child in September.
The process of finding his successor will start soon, Subramanian added.
The news of Subramanian’s resignation was first shared by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on his blog on Wednesday. Jaitley said Subramanian spoke to him though video-conferencing a few days back expressing his desire to go back to the US “on account of pressing family commitments”.
“His reasons were personal but extremely important for him. He left me with no option but to agree with him,” Jaitley wrote in the blog titled “Thank you Arvind”.
Arvind Subramanian, 59, a senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, had joined as the Chief Economic Advisor on 16 October, 2014, for a three-year term. On the expiry of the three years, Jaitley said, he had requested him to continue for some more time. “Even at that stage he told me that he was torn between family commitment and his current job which he considered the best and most fulfilling he has ever done,” said the FM.
Jaitely said Subramanian’s interaction with the government in the Ministry of Finance, the Prime Minister’s Office and with other departments was both formal and informal. “His instantaneous communications with his interlocutors had increased his effectiveness. The Chief Economic Advisor’s job had multi-facets to it. He is not a spokesman of the Government. He is an Advisor who has to analyse and thinks several steps ahead. It is a unique responsibility with freedom to the work that he enjoys. Arvind functioned within these parameters and concentrated on the challenges to the economy,” Jaitley said in his blog.
Confirming the development, Subramanian thanked Jaitley for his “generous words”. In a tweet, he posted: “Profoundly grateful & humbled by these extraordinarily generous words by Minister @arunjaitley announcing my decision to return-for personal reasons-to researching & writing. CEA job most rewarding, fulfilling, exciting I have ever had…”
Profoundly grateful & humbled by these extraordinarily generous words by Minister @arunjaitley announcing my decision to return-for personal reasons-to researching & writing. CEA job most rewarding, fulfilling, exciting I have ever had. Many many to thank:https://t.co/kwsRqDrMTB
— arvind subramanian (@arvindsubraman) June 20, 2018
Earlier, showering praises on Subramanian, the Union minister said in his blog the outgoing CEA’s “early diagnosis of the twin balance-sheet” led the government to adopt the macro-economic strategy of higher public investment in the Budget of 2015-16.
“He conceptualised JAM (Jan Dhan, Aadhar, Mobile) as a data base for availing public benefits. He contributed to the debate of federalism by conceptualising that the Indian federalism has not merely to be cooperative but also competitive,” said Jaitley.
He said Subramanian came out with newer ideas, policy reforms in the sectors of clothing, fertilisers, kerosene, power and pulses.
Calling him a dynamic administrator, Jaitley said Subramanian’s report on the Revenue Neutral Rate was of great use in forging a consensus that led to the constitution amendment enabling the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The FM said Subramanian elevated the quality of the analysis and the presentation of ideas for public deliberation in his four Economic Surveys.
“His documents for four years was treated by several independent critics as one of the best ever produced. The latest survey had about 15 million visitors from 117 countries. The Economic Survey today is a basic teaching material all over India,” he said.
Jaitley said Subramanian was someone who “thought ahead” and therefore came out with futuristic ideas on rationalisation of removal of “subsidies for the rich”, universal basic income, climate change, from “socialism without entry and capitalism without exit”.
According to Jaitely, Subramanian conducted the first online course on Indian economy for the benefits of students and teachers across the country, and launched the government’s online education platform “Swayam”.
“Personally I will miss his dynamism, energy, intellectual ability and ideas,” the FM said, adding: “But I know that his heart is very much here. I am sure he will keep sending advice and analysis wherever he is.”