CEA to quit his tenure midway

CEA Arvind Subramanian addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian on Wednesday announced his decision to relinquish his post and return to the United states, citing "pressing personal commitments". Union Minister Arun Jaitley accepted his decision with a heavy heart.

"A few days ago, he (Arvind Subramanian) met me over video conferencing and informed me that he would like 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 said in a Facebook post.

Subramanian, who was appointed as CEA in October 2014, was given an extension last year and his tenure was coterminous with the government at the Centre, or May 2019.

Subramanian was instrumental in bringing forth many economic reforms, including the GST. His resignation midway his tenure has come as a surprise and is reminiscent of former Niti Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya's decision to quit the government abruptly, barely two and a half years after serving as a top policymaker. Panagariya, too, had cited personal reasons before stepping down.

The sudden decision by both the US-based Indian economists led to a lot of criticism of the Modi government and its major financial decisions taken in the past, bypassing policymakers.

"The brightest flee the sinking ship, as the invisible hand of the RSS steers it onto the rocks. Meanwhile, Captain DeMo is fast asleep. It's crazy out there!," Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

"As CEA Arvind Subramanian resigns citing personal reasons, will move to US, @swadeshimanch requests @narendramodi ji to see that next incumbent should be one who has faith in farmers, workers and entrepreneurs of Bharat and is not on sabbatical," a tweet from Ashwani Mahajan, national co-convenor, Swadeshi Jagran Manch, said.

Jaitley thanked Subramanian and called his decision to quit a personal loss and a loss to the country. "He conceptualised JAM as a database for availing public benefits... he came out with newer ideas and policy reforms in sectors like clothing, fertiliser, power and pulses," Jaitley said, adding "he will personally miss him".

The CEA, in his last interaction with media, called Jaitley a "dream boss". However, there was no word on Subramanian's resignation from Piyush Goyal, who is currently the in-charge of finance ministry.

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CEA to quit his tenure midway

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