Prime Minister Manmohan Singh: Hailed as the father of India’s economic reforms, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh takes part in the Budget-making process. The prime minister holds talks with the finance minister, economists and senior officials to make sure that the Budget unveils policies to stimulate economic growth.
“With good crop prospects, remunerative prices being in place and Indian prices broadly in line with international prices, we will soon be able to stabilise food prices,” he said at a conference of Chief Ministers.
“This is not the first time that we are facing high rates of inflation of food articles. We had a similar upsurge in 1998. Food prices are subject to cyclical bursts of inflations and we must work together to bring them under reasonable control.”
Earlier, during his tenure as the Finance Minister from 1991 to 1996, Singh ushered in economic reforms that pushed the Indian economy to new heights.
Singh was the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1982 to 1985, the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India from 1985 to 1987.
Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister :-Pranab Mukherjee is confident that India would grow at a faster pace of 7.75 per cent in the fiscal year to March 2010 against 6.7 per cent in the previous year. On July 6, 2009, Pranab Mukherjee presented the United Progressive Alliance government’s annual budget.He announced various stimulus schemes, the scrapping of the Fringe Benefit Tax, and the Commodities Transaction Tax in the Budget.
As the economy recovers, the finance minister faces the challenging task of rolling back the fiscal stimulus, containing the burgeoning fiscal deficit and pushing growth.
Mukherjee is ranked as one of the best five finance ministers of the world for the year 1984 by Euro Money, a New York journal.
Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Dy Chairman, Planning Commission : India could emerge as the fastest growing economy in the world, beating China as the nation has yet to achieve its full growth potential, according to Montek Singh Ahluwalia. The economy is expected to grow by 8 per cent in the year ending March 2011. The Planning Commission has also pitched for phased withdrawal of stimulus in the forthcoming budget.
Ahluwalia became the first director of the Independent Evaluation Office, International Monetary Fund (IMF) on July 9, 2001. On June 16, 2004, he was appointed as Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission by the United Progressive Alliance government and was reappointed to the post on June 5, 2009 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Ashok Chawla, Finance Secretary:-Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla said the economy could finally grow higher than the 7.2 per cent estimated by the Central Statistical Organisation. The fiscal deficit would be cushioned by better-than-anticipated proceeds from stake sales in state-run firms.
A key official in the Budget making exercise, Chawla is a Gujarat cadre IAS officer of the 1973 batch and has also worked as secretary in the ministry of civil aviation. The finance ministry has five departments: economic affairs, revenue, expenditure, financial services and divestment.
Kaushik Basu, Chief Economic Advisor :-Kaushik Basu is the new Chief Economic Advisor in the Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance. “Financial sector reforms have to be a perpetual process. It is the government’s role to evolve new policies which regulate financial sector behaviour without stifling enterprise and innovation. The big risk of crisis arises not from the financial sector reforms but, on the contrary, stagnation in them and their failure to keep up with the evolving markets,” he said.
Basu was earlier chairman of the Department of Economics at Cornell University, USA. He was also the Professor for Centre for Analytic Economics and Program on Comparative Economic Development at the same University.
C Rangarajan, chairman, Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council:-C Rangarajan has called for a roadmap for withdrawal of stimulus in the upcoming Budget.
“A 7.2 per cent growth rate (projected by CSO) for the current financial year indicates that growth impulses are strong. Process of fiscal consolidation must start and some steps can be taken in the Budget,” Rangarajan said.
A former Reserve Bank Governor, Rangarajan is a close confidant of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
He was Governor, Reserve Bank of India from 1992-1997.
During this period, besides making monetary policy a flexible instrument of economic policy in achieving growth and price stability. He gave a major thrust to financial sector reforms.
He was also member of the Planning Commission.