Aligarh: Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian today pitched for increased induction of “outside talent” into the higher echelons of power in the government.
Delivering a lecture on the topic ‘Indian Economy: Key Issues and Challenges’ at the Aligarh Muslim University today, Subramanian said that government machinery tends to become insular if there is no free flow of fresh ideas beyond the ambit of existing hierarchies.
Subramanian, himself seen as an outsider in the present government, suggested that it would prove useful if there is induction of outside talent in posts above the rank of joint secretaries in the government because they would bring with them a slew of fresh and innovative ideas, which very often do not percolate to the corridors of established bureaucracy.
Asked whether he had any serious differences with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on vital issues, including demonetisation, the CEA deftly parried the question. “Let there be some issues which I can narrate in my memoirs after my assignment is over.”
He said he has a very comfortable relationship with Jaitley because he always gets the opportunity to frankly exchange views with the minister, even when there is a divergence of opinion.
Subramanian also said that the issue of growing “economic disparity between the haves and the have-nots” cannot be brushed aside.
This growing chasm is because of the steep rise in the incomes of a very miniscule segment of the population, he said.
Sounding a note of caution, Subramanian said, “If the gap between the rich and the poor is not narrowed down, the consequences for society could be adverse.”
Asked about the economic consequences of waiver of farmers’ loans, Subramanian sidestepped the question saying “We need some time to evaluate the economic consequences of such a measure.