Team Nirmala: A look at FM’s team that is led by finance secretary Rajiv Kumar


K Subramanian
Chief Economic Advisor



Subramanian’s first Economic Survey in July did some ‘Blue Sky Thinking’ to achieve and sustain 8% growth to reach the $5-trillion economy goal. The survey had put people at the centre of policy making and suggested how a small nudge could bring about big changes. A PhD in financial Economics from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business under professor Luigi Zingales and Raghuram Rajan, Subramanian will now be watched for his inputs to turn around the slowing economy.

Rajiv Kumar
Finance Secy & Secy, Dept Of Financial Services


After the mega consolidation of public sector banks, bank outreach to take credit to the doorstep of potential borrowers and a plan to ameliorate troubles of the non-banking finance companies, Kumar, a 1984 batch Jharkhand cadre IAS officer, will need to do lot more as economic slowdown and credit squeeze continue to persist. Kumar will also need to keep an eye on fiscal deficit amidst pressure to leverage government spending to spur growth.

Ajay Bhushan Pandey
Secy, Dept Of Revenue


Pandey, a 1984 Maharashtra Cadre IAS officer, has a tough balancing act on hand — growing expectations for a cut in personal income tax even as revenue growth remains muted. After the historic corporate tax rate to 22%from 30% and to 15% from 25% for new manufacturing entities, Pandey is also expected to deliver on other reforms proposed by the committee on direct taxes. The officer who ensured ‘Aadhaar’ became part of every household, is now spearheading drive to increase use of technology to boost revenues and also enhance taxpayer services. Budget would be keenly watched for some of these initiatives as also steps to provide a leg-up to ‘Make in India’.

Atanu Chakraborty
Secy,Dept Of Economic Affairs


Chakraborty, 1985-batch Gujaratcadre IAS was moved to economic affairs soon after the July Budget from the department of disinvestment. His imprint on the budget would be keenly watched out for as the government attempts to roll out measures to revive the economy.

T V Somanathan
Secy, Dept Of Expenditure


The 1987 batch IAS officer from the Tamil Nadu cadre is the latest entrant to the North Block. Somanathan served as a joint secretary in the prime minister’s office in 2015 after a stint at the World Bank. A PhD in economics from the Calcutta University, Somanathan faces an uphill task to keep spending in check with most ministries seeking additional funds. North Block has already announced measures to curb spending in the last quarter and the last month amid mounting pressure on the fiscal side on account of moderate revenues.

Tuhin Kanta Pandey
Secy, Dept Of Investment & Public Asset Management


All eyes are on Pandey’s department as government eyes big-band disinvesment such as privatisation of BPCL and Air India. It’s a race against time for Pandey as he seeks to wind up BPCL sale by March 31. Pandey, a 1987-batch IAS officer of Odisha cadre, was appointed secretary, DIPAM in October and he hit the ground running with India’s first debt exchange traded fund. He needs to deliver on the Rs 1.05 lakh crore divestment target for government to avoid a big fiscal slippage.

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