India names US-based economist as chief economic adviser



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NEW DELHI — India on Thursday appointed US-based economist Arvind Subramanian as the country's chief economic adviser.

The announcement comes the same day as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement that the government would overhaul the country's archaic labor laws to draw more investment to Asia's third largest economy. India also appointed a new finance secretary, the top bureaucrat in the country's finance ministry Thursday.

Subramanian told reporters in New Delhi that he was "honored" to serve a government "that has a mandate for reform and change."

Subramanian is a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington D.C.

He has worked at the International Monetary Fund in the past where he worked alongside the current head of India's Reserve Bank Raghuram Rajan.

"For any economy like India, the two big things are macroeconomic stability and of course creating conditions for rapid investment and growth. While creating opportunity for all segments of Indian society, no one should be left out of this process," he told reporters.

The announcement of the new appointments comes as the government, elected by a massive mandate in May, is less than four months away from presenting its first full-fledged budget in February.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, led by its popular leader Narendra Modi, won national elections by the largest mandate India has seen in three decades on the back of promises that it would overhaul India's stumbling economy.

Economic growth has cooled to under five percent in the last two years after a period of sizzling growth over the last decade.

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