homefinance News

Know the team behind FM Nirmala Sitharaman's Union Budget

Know the team behind FM Nirmala Sitharaman's Union Budget

Know the team behind FM Nirmala Sitharaman's Union Budget
Profile image

By CNBC-TV18 Jan 31, 2021 1:38:51 PM IST (Updated)

As union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman gears up for the challenging task, we take a look at her team that has to work out a budget taking into consideration the diverse demands of various sectors.

Come February 1, the government will present what is being dubbed as the most crucial union budget in recent years. The attempt will be to put the Indian economy, ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, on the route to recovery in earnest. The pandemic brought the economy to its knees, resulting in the steepest first-quarter contraction since independence. The Narendra Modi-led government’s main focus will be on boosting economic growth and hence, major announcements are expected.

Recommended Articles

View All

As union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman gears up for the challenging task, we take a look at her team that has to work out a budget taking into consideration the diverse demands of various sectors, stakeholders and, of course, the common man, for much-needed respite:
Ajay Bhushan Pandey:
This 1984 batch officer of the Maharashtra cadre, Pandey is regarded as one among the most powerful bureaucrats in the country and heads the revenue department. He holds the key designation of finance secretary, the senior-most of five secretaries in the ministry of finance. He is expected to set possible-to-achieve tax targets as the economy limps back to the pre-pandemic status in 2019-20 when the net tax deficit was around Rs 1.45 crore. Although there isn’t much hope this year, Pandey will have to focus his energies on setting targets in such a way that the next financial year is slightly better. Pandey was earlier the CEO of Unique Identification Authority of India and will retire in February-end.
TV Somanathan: As expenditure secretary, the 1987 batch officer of Tamil Nadu cadre is a crucial name in the team since he has the task of locating money for stimulus packages in the budget. Given his stint in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) between April 2015 and August 2017, he is known to be close to Modi and a majority of recommendations from the PMO are said to be routed through him. He holds a Ph.D in economics and has imposed expenditure cuts in several departments during the pandemic, barring the ones which are directly involved in the fight against COVID-19. His expertise and experience are sure to come handy in determining where to spend the money.
Tuhin Kanta Pandey: The 1987-batch officer from Odisha cadre is the secretary of department of investment and public asset management. His department will be in focus, the government is hopeful of getting off the mark its ambitious privatisation plan, after many failed attempts, including COVID-19. The responsibility of ensuring fruition of these deals is on Pandey. His priorities are likely to be privatisation of Bharat Petroleum, Concor, Shipping Corp, Air India, and the expected IPO of LIC.
Tarun Bajaj: He's a 1988-batch officer from Haryana cadre, and has played an important role in shaping the three ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ sets of relief measures. Bajaj is now the economic affairs secretary and is likely to draft Sitharaman's budget speech. The budget division, which puts together all inputs and prepares the budget, reports to him. Atanu Chakraborty, his predecessor, had drafted the 2020-21 speech.
Debashish Panda: He heads the department of financial services and all announcements in the budget related to the financial sector are his responsibility. A bureaucrat from the 1987-batch Uttar Pradesh cadre, Panda will also have to work closely with RBI to ensure stability of the financial system. Though banks have fared better than other sectors during the pandemic, there are worries that lack of economic activity and job losses could lead to more defaults. So, Panda’s role in working in tandem with the RBI assumes a lot of importance.
Krishnamurthy Subramanian: The chief economic adviser to the government of India is an alumnus of IIT, IIM, and University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He, along with his team, will draft the Economic Survey 2020-21 — a precursor to the union budget. Post lockdown, he had predicted a 'V-shaped' recovery for India. Before taking up his current role as chief economic adviser, Subramanian was a professor at Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.
Check out our in-depth Market Coverage, Business News & get real-time Stock Market Updates on CNBC-TV18. Also, Watch our channels CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz and CNBC Bajar Live on-the-go!

Top Budget Opinions

    Most Read

    Market Movers

    View All
    Top GainersTop Losers
    CurrencyCommodities
    CompanyPriceChng%Chng