Former West Bengal finance minister Ashok Mitra passed away on 1 May following old age complications. He was 90.

Mitra, who served as the finance minister from 1977-87 under Jyoti Basu’s reign, had also served as chief economic adviser during Indira Gandhi’s tenure as prime minister.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed condolences at his death.

“Saddened at the passing away of noted economist,former Finance Minister of Bengal and former Rajya Sabha MP, Dr Ashok Mitra. He had a long career with the World Bank, IIM Calcutta and as Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India. Condolences to his family & well wishers,” she wrote on Twitter.


Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, too, took to Twitter to express grief.

“Condolence: Ashok Mitra. A prolific writer, he contributed regularly to various dailies & magazines.  And his writings were not only limited to economics and politics. Of late he had been editing a Bengali magazine Aarek Rakam. We convey our profound grief,” he wrote.


The office of the Kerala Chief Minister and CPI(M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan issued a statement: “CM Pinarayi Vijayan expressed condolences over the demise of eminent Marxian economist and former finance minister of West Bengal Ashok Mitra.”


Known as an eminent Marxist economist, Mitra was born in Dhaka on 10 April 1928. He completed his Masters in Economics from Benares Hindu University (BHU) and obtained his PhD from The Netherlands.

He taught at Lucknow University, at the Delhi School of Economics and IIM Calcutta.

Mitra also worked for the World Bank and was chairman of the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Industry and Commerce after his nomination to the Rajya Sabha in mid-1990s.

A Sahitya Akademi awardee, he was known for his scathing analysis of contemporary economics and socio-political issue.

Mitra had lost his wife ten years ago.