In the first session of the 16th Legislative Assembly, Tamil Nadu's governor Banwarilal Purohit announced the state's new economic advisory council. The five-member committee includes former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan and Nobel laureate Esther Duflo of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The other members are India's former Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian, Economist Jean Dreze and former Finance Secretary S Narayan.
The panel will advise Chief Minister MK Stalin on the economic policies of the government.
"Based on the recommendation of the council, the government will revitalise the state's economy and ensure that benefits of economic growth reach all segments of society," the Governor said, according to The Indian Express.
Members of the Council
Raghuram Rajan was the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 2013 to 2016. He also served as the Chief Economic Adviser before heading RBI. Arvind Subramanian succeeded Rajan as the Chief Economic Adviser and served till 2018.
Esther Duflo received the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2019. She received the award along with her Indian American husband, Abhijit Banerjee, and her colleague Michael Kremer.
Jean Dreze is a professor at the Delhi School of Economics and visiting faculty at Ranchi University. He was also one of the prominent figures behind the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), a welfare program that ensured employment to the rural population.
Narayan, an IAS officer from the 1965 batch, was the economic adviser of the Prime Minister from 2003 to 2004.
Role of the committee
The advisory committee will study the contemporary financial situation of the state and suggest changes to improve the state's economy. Finance Minister P Thiaga Rajan had earlier announced that the Tamil Nadu government would come up with a white paper on how to bring down the overall debt burden and improve fiscal position.
The governor emphasized that the state government will maintain a cordial relationship with the Centre to boost development.