The high-powered economic advisory council to Tamil Nadu chief minister M.K. Stalin have been given the freedom to pick up issues and submit their suggestions to the chief minister.
“It is different from many such panels in several ways. It is not a paid position, but an honorary one. Unlike such panels which are mandated for a specific issue and tasked to give a report, the EAC would identify issues and submit its suggestions. The state can also refer issues and seek suggestions,” state finance minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan told The Telegraph.
“Essentially, the goal is not to make reports but to keep the system working efficiently with the best resources and inputs we can avail with their help whenever required,” Rajan said.
“The tenure is for five years and would work in an unconventional manner ... meet in person or virtually, decide its own operational modalities.”
The panel comprises Nobel Laureate Esther Duflo and former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan. It also has Arvind Subramanian, former chief economic adviser at the Centre, and Jean Dreze, welfare economist and social scientist.
The fifth member is S. Narayan, former union finance secretary and former economic adviser to PM Narendra Modi.
By opting for two macroeconomists (Rajan and Subramanian) and two social economists (Dreze and Duflo) and a former bureaucrat, analysts said the panel aims to strike a right balance to bring about growth that touches all segments of society,
Thiaga Rajan, or PTR as he is better known, is an alumnus of the MIT Sloan School of Management. He has worked with global financial institutions such as Standard Chartered and Lehman Brothers.
Tamil Nadu’s outstanding liabilities rose by 124 per cent to Rs 5.12 lakh crore in 2021 (BE) from Rs 2.28 lakh crore in 2016, RBI data shows.
The state government aims to bring down the overall debt burden of the state. Thiaga Rajan “expects the fiscal deficit for the current fiscal to be Rs 90,000 crore due to the second wave. During the budget in July, some of the steps to deal with the fiscal situation would be outlined”.