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This Tendulkar to bat for PMO

Eminent economist and member of the economic advisory council Suresh Tendulkar will take over as the new chairman of the council next week, reports HT Correspondent.

business Updated: Aug 08, 2008 22:15 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s economic advisory council (EAC) chairman C Rangarajan has resigned amidst speculation that he would enter Parliament as a member of the Rajya Sabha.

Eminent economist and member of the council Suresh Tendulkar will take over as the new chairman of EAC. Tendulkar confirmed to HT that he would take charge as the new chairman of the council next week.

Rangarajan was appointed as chairman of the panel shortly after the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition came to power in 2004.

Rangarajan served as governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from 1992 to 1997 ushering in several key reforms initiatives, including grant of greater autonomy to banks and a flexible monetary policy.

Rangarajan told reporters on Wednesday that the Indian economy is expected to grow 7.5 to 8.0 per cent in the fiscal year ending March 2009, slower than the RBI’s estimate, while inflation would start cooling by March next year.

The council is expected to submit its outlook for 2008-09 next week. There is a strong likelihood of the council executing a downward revision from its earlier GDP growth forecast of 8.5 per cent.

In its review for 2007-08, the council had cautioned that a global slowdown triggered by a potential recession in India’s largest trading partner, the United States of America, could put apply the brakes on the country’s economic growth momentum.

Tendulkar, who takes over next week, did his Masters in Economic Statistics from Delhi School of Economics and took his PhD from Harvard University as a Rockefeller Foundation Scholar.

He has taught and researched at Indian Statistical institute, Delhi and at Delhi School of Economics.

Tendulkar has extensively written on, developmental issues like poverty, planning and has served in a large number of committees and technical groups including the Fifth Pay Commission.

He takes over at a time amidst fears of an industrial slowdown after factory output fell to its lowest in six years in the backdrop of persistently rising inflation that crossed a worrisome 12 per cent mark.

Industrial output grew by 3.8 per cent in May from 10.9 per cent a year ago and most broad sectors growing at a significantly slower clip as compared to last year.

Taming inflation and maintaining robust industrial growth has been a key priority both for the government and the RBI.