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From Hasmukh Adhia to Arvind Subramanian, here's Arun Jaitley's Budget team

This is the team that will spearhead what will essentially be the Prime Minister's vision document for 2019

Business Standard 

Budget 2018

As the Narendra Modi presents its fifth and final Union before the 2019 polls, this is the team that will spearhead what will essentially be the Prime Minister’s vision document for 2019 and beyond along with Finance Minister

Hasmukh Adhia 
FINANCE SECRETARY 
Hasmukh Adhia

 

Adhia was designated finance secretary when Ashok Lavasa retired in October. The senior most official in handling GST, he still has a lot on his platter as he looks to ensure revenue buoyancy, while removing the complications arising from the new levy’s less-than-perfect roll-out. He is also one of the masterminds behind demonetisation. Adhia is a strong contender to be the next Cabinet secretary.

Subhash Garg 
ECONOMIC AFFAIRS SECRETARY 
Shubhas Garg

 

A 1983 batch Rajasthan cadre officer, Garg took over as economic affairs secretary in June, after the retirement of Shaktikanta Das. Garg was World Bank executive director for Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka before this. This will be his first as secretary. There has been criticism over his communication to markets and stakeholders, especially on additional borrowing numbers.

Neeraj Gupta 
DISINVESTMENT SECRETARY
Neeraj Gupta

 

The disinvestment department used to struggle to reach the Rs 300-bn mark in annual stake sales. Under Gupta, the renamed body has this year garnered more than Rs 900 bn and could reach Rs 1 trn. A lot of these proceeds have come from buybacks and a PSU acquiring another. The department has also carried out a number of IPOs and launched two exchange traded funds. Expect the department to be given a tougher target in FY19. One area where the department must take its share of the blame is privatisation of PSUs.

Ajay Narayan Jha
EXPENDITURE SECRETARY
Ajay Narayan Jha

 

A 1982 batch Manipur cadre officer, Jha took over as expenditure secretary after Ashok Lavasa’s retirement. Before that, he was secretary of the environment ministry. He has had previous experience in the expenditure department and the finance commission. His task is to help balance a kitty of Rs 23-24 trillion and channel that into record capital spending, rising subsidies in the face of oil price rise, flagship schemes for farmers, the rural sector, affordable housing and employment, and defence.

Rajeev Kumar 
FINANCIAL SERVICES SECRETARY
Rajiv Kumar

 

Kumar joined as secretary here last August, when PSBs, reeling under the non-performing asset mess, were in need of handholding by the Union Two months later, the announced a historic Rs 2.11 trillion recapitalisation plan for PSBs. This is not Kumar’s first assignment in Union making. He held the posts of additional secretary and joint secretary in the Department of Expenditure between 2012 and 2015. He worked on bringing changes in the Finance Commission and Public Financial Management System during this stint.

Arvind Subramanian 
CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISOR  
ARVIND SUBRAMANIAN

 

This is expected to be Subramanian’s last and Economic Survey, unless he gets another extension. He has been a key member of Jaitley’s Budgetmaking teams and expanded the scope and depth of economic surveys. The topics he has dealt with are as varied as universal basic income, bad bank for stressed assets, Jan-Dhan, and Aadhaar. He has been a critic of the Monetary Policy Committee’s inflation modelling and is not considered a fiscal conservative, having advocated higher spending in the past.

First Published: Sat, January 27 2018. 06:20 IST
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