India Names Banking Reforms Expert as Top Economic Adviser

(Bloomberg) -- India named Krishnamurthy Subramanian, a banking sector expert and backer of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization exercise, as the government’s chief economic adviser.

Subramanian, a professor of finance at one of India’s leading management schools who earned his doctorate from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, will hold the position for three years, the government said in a statement on Friday. He succeeds Arvind Subramanian, who quit the position in June 2018 to return to the U.S.

His appointment comes at a time when India is grappling with slowing growth, a crisis in its shadow banking sector and risks to its budget deficit amid tardy revenues. His expertise in banking may come in handy for the government, which is locked in a bitter dispute with the central bank over handling of the nation’s weak banking sector.

“A refreshing change” is how Subramanian described Modi’s controversial decision to invalidate 86 percent of currency notes in late 2016. “In a rare instance, the government has taken an action that resonates well with the sentiment among common, law-abiding citizens,” he wrote in a newspaper column days after the cash ban was announced.

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