Event Participation: A Conversation “Thinking Heads : Economic Survey 2018++” between Arvind Subramanian and Nandan Nilekani

Date: 02-04-2018
Venue: Bangalore International Center, Bengaluru

Economics is a very fascinating field, with lot of theories and lot of data. Since, it is closely linked to finance and aspects of decision making, it is imperative for me to get idea of it. Along with economic theories, I have also studied some of the publicly available reports to get some sense of economic policy making. One of them was Economic Survey of India. Published annually just before submitting the budget, it is an comprehensive document touching every single aspect of Indian economy.

Fortunately, I got opportunity to listen to the person who have authored/edited this year’s survey. Mr. Arvind Subranmanian is currently serving as Chief Economic Advisor of the government of India. It was raining outside Bengalore International Center but inside it was a packed auditorium of enthusiastic audience. Here is the talk given by Mr. Subramnian.

The question and answer session was even much more interesting. It was interesting also for that it was moderated by Mr.Nandan Nilkeni(Ex-Ceo, Infosys). Issues of privatization of Banks, GST, Cooperative Federalism,Job creation, and necessity of greater transperency in reporting were important ones.

CEA also highlighted his top failures and successes during his tenure. He was happy that his idea of Universal basic income has been taken seriously, which can be useful in a big country like India. He has also highlighted need for better regulators in light of recent events like Facebook data breach. Better regulators ignite trust in people. In his view, GST was a very good example of cooperative federalism. In GST council, representatives from every state sat together and arrived at decisions. It was a unique example of decision making.

A lot of small saving population has moved from investing in gold,real-estate to capital market. Mr. Subramanian emphasized the need to educate such population as financial market is equally volatile like any other sector. If the exposure of small savors becomes large then it will become a social issue in the downturn events. Such cases can become a problematic. So, a cautious approach must be maintained.

I learn a great deal today about Economic surveys, their larger context, and their impact on business world.

Even coverage by various media:
http://www.financialexpress.com/economy/uniform-gst-rates-cant-be-done-ignoring-political-realities-cea-arvind-subramanian/1119204/
https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/030418/all-we-have-to-bank-on-arvind-subramanian.html
https://bookstalkist.com/stigmatizing-capitalism-is-a-problem-in-india/

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