THE INDIA STORY: HOW IT WAS ACHIEVED & WHAT TO DO NOW
Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia’s book “Backstage:” captures the essence of economic policy making between 1985 and 2014. The Indian approach to the economy dramatically changed in those three decades and the author has played a crucial role in fashioning the policies that have shaped the nation today. His focus on growth during the UPA 1 regime vaulted India into a high growth economy. He explains why growth was not sustained during UPA 2 and also the need for institution building for good governance.
This conversation will give an insider view on the reform process and more important, what needs to be done now to rebuild the nation’s economy after the difficult position it has gotten itself into.
Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Indian Economist
Dr Duvvuri Subbarao, Ex Governor RBI
DR MONTEK SINGH AHLUWALIA
Montek Singh Ahluwalia is an Indian economist and civil servant who was the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India.
Dr Ahluwalia has been a key figure in the Indian economic reform process. He has consistently pushed for economic reforms involving a shift from the earlier reliance on extensive government control over the economy with high levels of protection, to a much more open economy with a larger role for the private sector responding to market forces and greater openness to imports, foreign technology and direct foreign investment.
The President of India awarded him the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honour for public service.
As Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission from 2004 onwards, he supervised the preparation of both the Eleventh Plan (2007-08 to 2011-12) titled “Towards Faster and More Inclusive Growth” and subsequently also the Twelfth Plan (2012-13 to 2016-17) titled “Faster, More Inclusive and Sustainable Growth”.
He held several senior positions as a civil servant, including Special Secretary to the Prime Minister, Commerce secretary, Secretary Department of Economic Affairs in the Finance Ministry and Finance Secretary. In 1998 he was appointed Member of the Planning Commission.
In 2001, he was chosen by the Board of International Monetary Fund to be the first director of the newly created Independent Evaluation Office, in which capacity he supervised several studies critical of various aspects of the functioning of the IMF.
In June 2004, he resigned from the IMF position to take up as the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission as part of the United Progressive Alliance government in New Delhi.
DR DUVVURI SUBBARAO
Duvvuri Subbarao was Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (2008-13). Prior to that he was Finance Secretary to Government of India and Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council. After leaving the RBI, Subbarao was a Visiting Fellow at the National University of Singapore, and most recently at the University of Pennsylvania.
Subbarao’s book “Who Moved My Interest Rate”, narrating his experiences leading the RBI through an extraordinarily turbulent period, was widely acclaimed as an exposition of the challenges faced by emerging markets in a globalized world.