For nearly four years, Arvind Subramanian stood at the centre of economic policymaking in India. Through the communication of big ideas and the publication of accessible Economic Surveys, he gained a reputation as an innovator. Through honest pronouncements that avoided spin, he became a figure of public trust. What does it entail to serve at the helm of the world’s fastest-growing economy, where decision-making affects a population of more than a billion people?
In Of Counsel: The Challenges of the Modi-Jaitley Economy, Arvind Subramanian provides an inside account of his rollercoaster journey as the chief economic advisor to the Government of India from 2014-18, succeeding Raghuram Rajan as captain of the ship. With an illustrious cast of characters, Subramanian’s part-memoir, part-analytical writings candidly reveal the numerous triumphs and challenges of policymaking at the zenith, while appraising India’s economic potential, health and future through comprehensive research and original hypotheses.
Charged with the task to restructure an insecure and fragile economy, Subramanian’s trusteeship has seen the country through one of the most hotly contested and turbulent periods of economic governance and policymaking in recent decades-from the controversial recall of 85 per cent of circulated currency during demonetization to a complete overhaul in taxation with the introduction of the GST. Subramanian also addresses the overleveraging of public-sector banks, the fraught links between the state and private sector (‘stigmatized capitalism’), the changing relationship between the state and the individual, and the ever-pervasive, life-threatening issues surrounding climate change.
Recognized as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers according to Foreign Policy magazine, Arvind Subramanian’s Of Counsel: The Challenges of the Modi-Jaitley Economy is a deep-dive into the man, the moments, the measures and the means.