WITH just over a week left for the December 30 demonetisation deadline and a month ahead of the Union Budget 2017-18, Express Adda will host Vice-Chairperson of Niti Aayog Arvind Panagariya here on Thursday.
Panagariya, an economist, who was a professor of Indian political economy in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University before accepting this government’s offer, is expected to put in perspective Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision of November 8 to withdraw the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes and what has followed in its wake.
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Panagariya, who grew up in Jaipur, got his Ph.D in Economics from Princeton University and has worked with multilateral institutions including the World Bank and the IMF. He was the Chief Economist of the Asian Development Bank.
In less than two years since he took charge as Vice-Chairperson on January 15, 2015, Panagariya has built a robust relationship with state Chief Ministers. He is also the architect of the government’s disinvestment programme which now includes strategic sale of PSUs, a big reform put on the back burner after NDA-I faced flak in some sell-offs. He also believes India can be a manufacturing hub and has made a strong pitch for creating coastal economic zones.
A trade expert, Panagariya is also the Prime Minister’s sherpa in the G-20 forum. He has strong views on trade and environment, and believes that while the government must negotiate hard in a multilateral forum, it must be willing to make concessions too.
Most tricky issues that involve inter-ministerial discussions are now routinely directed to the Niti Aayog, which has grown steadily in stature and influence. The Niti Aayog was recently entrusted by the Prime Minister to chalk out a strategy for a digital economy post demonetisation.
Panagariya has authored over 15 books, two of the more prominent ones being Why Growth Matters with Jagdish Bhagwati and India: The Emerging Giant.
Why Growth Matters, The Economist said, was “a manifesto for policy makers and analysts”. He was honoured with the Padma Shri by the UPA government in March 2012.