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Flagship Seminar Series on India’s Public Finances | Part 1: India’s overall fiscal architecture
Centre for Social and Economic Progress (CSEP)

Date and Time: Mar 8, 2021, 06:00-07-30 PM (IST)

CSEP is hosting a three-part Flagship Seminar series that takes a closer look at India’s public finances through some of the key themes and recommendations of the report of the Fifteenth Finance Commission. The first seminar features N.K. Singh, Chairman of the Fifteenth Finance Commission on the subject of “India’s Overall Fiscal Architecture”.

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has severely strained India’s public finances given its scale, the difficulties faced by sub-national governments in absorbing its fiscal costs, and its asymmetric regional impact. For India to address the effects of the pandemic and to achieve its full potential for economic growth and development across its States, it is critical to improve the overall fiscal architecture. The crisis has global dimensions with attention being given in other countries to raise resource availability while improving the quality of public spending and financial management across all levels of government. This has brought the responsiveness, efficiency, and accountability of India’s fiscal architecture under the spotlight.

Speaker’s BioN.K. Singh was the Chairman of the Fifteenth Finance Commission. He has also served as Chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Review Committee and as Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha. Prior to these engagements, N.K. Singh had a distinguished career as a member of the Indian Administrative Service, which included positions as the Secretary to the Prime Minister, the Revenue Secretary, and the Expenditure Secretary. As part of the Ministry of Finance, he was also involved in the 1991 economic reforms and was the principal interlocutor for negotiations with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.


Anoop Singh: Anoop Singh is currently a Distinguished Fellow at CSEP, and was a Member of the Fifteenth Finance Commission. He had a long career at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where his appointments included being Director of the Asia Pacific and Western Hemisphere Departments. He has also been Special Adviser to the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. He has taught at Georgetown University in Washington DC as an Adjunct Professor and has worked and written extensively on macroeconomic, surveillance, and crisis management issues.

Shankar Acharya:

He has served as a Member of the Twelfth Finance Commission, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the National Security Advisory Board. As the Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India from 1993 to 2000, he was closely associated with the economic reforms of the 1990s. He has held senior positions at the World Bank, was non-executive Chairman of Kotak Mahindra Bank for twelve years and has a range of publications on macroeconomic policy, growth, international economics, and public finance.

ModeratorRakesh Mohan is President and Distinguished Fellow at CSEP. Previously, he was Senior Fellow at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University, Professor at Yale’s School of Management, and Distinguished Consulting Professor at Stanford University. Closely associated with the Indian economic reforms process since the late 1980s, he has served in senior roles, including as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Secretary, Economic Affairs, and Chief Economic Adviser of the Ministry of Finance. He has authored books on urban economics, urban development, monetary policy, and economic reforms.

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