Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be presenting the maiden budget of Modi 2.0 government on July 5, Friday, in which she is likely to put the pedal to the metal in terms of accomplishing the Prime Minister's stated goal of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2025. Here's a look at the team of experts at the Finance Ministry, which also includes MoS Anurag Thakur, who will have doubtlessly had a hand in preparing the budget:
Subhash Chandra Garg - Finance Secretary and Economic Affairs Secretary
A senior bureaucrat, Garg has been in the North Block for a long time. There is plenty on his plate during this term of the government, though if his rebuttals and interviews on various topics, particularly while putting forth the government's side of the story during the RBI versus Government tension, is to be believed, he's more than up to the task. He has appeared to retain a key role in the pre-Budget interactions with various stakeholders, often being seated in the place-of-prime, next to the Finance Minister.
K Subramanian - Chief Economic Advisor
He is a PhD in Financial Economics from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business under professor Luigi Zingales and former RBI Governor (and former CEA) Raghuram Rajan. He prepared the first Economic Survey on Thursday which was tabled by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha. His predictions and solutions hope to give the slowing economy a shot in the arm which would be significant for the Budget. The survey has projected 7.0% growth for India in the ongoing fiscal, but has also presented a roadmap for achieving 8%+ growth which is the requirement for the $5 trillion figure.
Sanjeev Sanyal - Principal Economic Advisor
Sanjeev Sanyal, considered as one of the continent's leading economists, also presents an industry perspective, having served as Deutsche Bank's Global Strategist and Managing Director. He's been named Young Global leader by the World Economic Forum in 2010, and is also a Rhodes Scholar. He is also a prolific author and has written on topics ranging from economics to history, and also, recently, published a compendium of short stories.
Rajeev Kumar - Financial Services Secretary
He has played a key role in ensuring the delivery of some of the Modi government's agendas, including the merger of state-banks and maintaining a check on the NPAs which had ballooned to become a crisis until strict action was taken, the results of which are only coming to light. Now, his job, which is of utmost importance, would be to push the lenders to begin to lend. Also on his agenda are merger of insurers and continuation of banking reforms in the public sector.
Ajay Bhushan Pandey - Revenue Secretary
Pandey's importance becomes evident from the posts he holds. Aside from being the Revenue secretary - a position he came to occupy fairly recently - he is also the CEO of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and the second Chairman of the GSTN or Goods and Services Tax Network. He is an engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, among other high qualifications.
GC Murmu - Expenditure Secretary
The IAS officer was in the departments of financial services and revenue while serving in Gujarat, and has served as no less than the principal secretary to PM Modi while he was the Chief Minister of the state.
Atanu Chakraborty - DIPAM Secretary
The 1985-batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer who serves as the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management Secretary is credited with enabling the government to reach its disinvestment target through some ingenious ideas. He possibly has a bigger task ahead with a more aggressive public asset monetisation and strategic sales.