New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday took a veiled dig at the central government over the announcement of Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian’s exit from the government.
In a veiled dig at the government’s style of functioning, the Congress chief said that while the brightest people are quitting, the former finance minister is breaking the news on Facebook.
Arvind Subramanian, whose contract was to end in May 2019, quit today after four years in what he described as “the best job I ever had, not without controversies sometimes.” His exit was announced by Union Minister Arun Jatley through a Facebook post. “He would like to go back to the United States on account of pressing family commitments… He left me with no option but to agree with him,” Arun Jaitley wrote on the premature exit.
Mr Jaitley, who is recovering from surgery, said Mr Subramanian had met him over video-conference a few days ago. “His reasons were personal but extremely important for him,” he said.
Mr Subramanian, 59, a senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, became Chief Economic Adviser on October 16, 2014 for a period of three years, which was extended. He took over the job when his predecessor Raghuram Rajan moved on to become RBI governor.
Arvind Subramanian says his stint as India’s chief economic advisor was the best job he’s ever had, and called Arun Jaitley a “dream boss”.
“On the expiry of the three year I had requested him to continue for some more time. Even at that stage he told me that he was torn between family commitment and his current job which he considered the best and most fulfilling he has ever done,” Mr Jaitley said in his post, which was full of praise for Mr Subramanian.
Mr Subramanian built up a “strong team of both insiders and outsiders”, said the minister.
“He would walk into my room – at times several times a day, addressing me as ‘Minister’ to give either the good news or otherwise. Needless to say his departure will be missed by me,” Mr Jaitley wrote, ending his glowing tribute with the words that are also the title of his post: “Thank you Arvind”.
This is the third instance in three years of a US-educated Indian economist to leave a top post. Raghuram Rajan was the first to go in 2016; he was not offered a second term as RBI chief. Last year, Arvind Panagariya quit as the head of the Niti Aayog.