Former IMF Chief Appointed India Econ Chief
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  • Kevin

    Interesting.

    What exactly is this role in the Indian government? Is it purely advisory with no real authority? Who has filled it in the past and what sort of effect on policy or politics have they had? (Not much from the Economist article it seems.).

    What does it say that he was chosen? Is it a sign that Congress or the PM is serious about another round of liberal reforms before the next election or just window dressing to make them look good?

    My cynical first impression is that the Congress Party is desperate but unwilling to introduce reforms. They picked him to try to deceive those favoring reforms (and maybe foreign investors and creditors) into supporting them through the election but without having to actually start any real reforms that would offend vested interests prior to the vote. I hope I am too cynical and proved wrong.

  • Akshay Kanoria

    Hi,

    The role of the Chief Economic Adviser is not remotely as important as it is in America. Indeed, they are mostly ignored in the name of pragmatism. The fact is that the Prime Minister and his Harvard educated finance minister know exactly what steps to take with the economy. The fact that they haven’t done anything in the past 8 years is more due to a lack of courage and initiative than due to poor advice. Rajan’s pick is however sincere- the PM genuinely respects him and wants to follow his advice, he just lacks the political weight and courage to follow through.

    Given that and the fact that elections are coming up in 2014, the Congress is hardly going to stick it’s neck out for reform. They’re more likely to throw money in all directions in order to appease their vote bank. I’m afraid Rajan’s advice is going to fall on largely deaf ears.

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