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India's New Chief Economic Adviser Studied Under Raghuram Rajan, Thinks Note Ban Was Revolutionary

Questioning if the poor had really suffered from demonetisation, he said the politicians claiming it were being disingenuous in pushing their claims for political gains.


Updated:December 8, 2018, 9:44 AM IST
India's New Chief Economic Adviser Studied Under Raghuram Rajan, Thinks Note Ban Was Revolutionary
File photo of Krishnamurthy Subramanian.

New Delhi: The Centre on Friday appointed ISB Hyderabad professor Krishnamurthy Subramanian as Chief Economic Adviser for a period of three years. He will succeed Arvind Subramanian, who stepped down from his post in June this year.

"The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Dr Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Associate Prof. and ED (CAF), ISB, Hyderabad, to the post of Chief Economic Adviser," said a government notification.

Subramanian is known for supporting demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2016 move to replace all high-value currency notes, which his predecessor Arvind Subramanian recently called “draconian”.

In a column he wrote for the Live Mint, he had backed demonetisation, saying the people facing difficulties from the note ban exercise belonged to the “top half of the country’s income distribution, certainly not the poor.”

Questioning if the poor had really suffered, he said the politicians claiming it were being disingenuous in pushing their claims for political gains.

In a separate column written for the Economic Times, he described the cash swap move, which is now widely believed to have been unsuccessful, as one that will go down as “revolutionary in the annals of the country’s fight against corruption”.

He also wrote a piece applauding former RBI Governor, Raghuram Rajan, who was his adviser for his PhD programme at Chicago Booth School of Business in United States. He said Rajan had played a “spectacular innings” but was phased out nevertheless.

He has worked with RBI's serving deputy governor Viral Acharya and has helped Arvind Subramanian for the 2015 Economic Survey.

He regularly appears as an expert commentator and is a featured columnist with The Economic Times and Mint and penned the Reasonomics column for The Financial Express.

Who is Krishnamurthy Subramanian?

An associate professor and executive director (Centre for Analytical Finance) of Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, Subramanian is a well-known name in the banking world.

He is seen as one of the world’s leading experts in banking, corporate governance and economic policy, according to the ISB Hyderabad website.

Subramanian is a trained engineer and has a degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur. He went on to do an MBA from IIM Calcutta, where he was among the famed Honour Roll on account of his stellar academic performance having topped his batch.

He went on to do his PhD from Chicago-Booth, US, in Financial Economics under the guidance of Professor Luigi Zingales and Professor Raghuram Rajan, the former RBI governor.

Prior to taking a plunge into the world of academia, Subramanian worked as a consultant with JPMorgan Chase in New York and also served in a management role in the derivatives research group at ICICI Ltd.

Besides being on the boards of Bandhan Bank Ltd, the National Institute of Bank Management, and the RBI Academy, Subramanian also serves as a member of SEBI's standing committees on alternative investment policy, primary markets, secondary markets and research.

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