Has the FM unilaterally decided to extend the tenure of the CEA?

The Finance Ministry seems to have kept the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet in the dark regarding the extension of tenure given to the CEA, Arvind Subramanian

Has the FM unilaterally decided to extend the tenure of the CEA?
Has the FM unilaterally decided to extend the tenure of the CEA?

It seems Senior BJP leader Dr. Subramanian Swamy is in no mood to end his long time tussle with CEA Dr. Arvind Subramanian. Swamy on several occasions has criticised the performence of Arvind Subramanian. Other targets of Swamy were previos UPA Government’s appointees RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and Finance Secretary Shaktikanta Das, and both are gone, partly due to his efforts. Internal sources claim both desperately wanted extension of their respective regimes but didn’t get positive feedback from the Office of the Prime Minister. For now, Arvind Subramanian alone, main alleged sweetheart of previous Congress ruled Government remains in the Finance Ministry.

On this important measure of governance, Mr Modi stands indicted as a mediocre performer and one whose performance has not improved over time. – Arvind Subramanian

Swamy on Thursday last, took potshots at the CEA. While sharing the link of Arvind’s Business Standard (January, 2013) Op-ed, Swamy asked if the Appointments Committee of Cabinet had approved his extension. In his Op-ed, Arvind had questioned the then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi’s so-called Gujarat Model. Writing about the lacklustre performance on tax collection by the Modi Government in Gujarat, he had said “On this important measure of governance, Mr Modi stands indicted as a mediocre performer and one whose performance has not improved over time.”

Then Swamy called him “King Shalya” of Mahabharata :

PM Modi had used the comparison of King Shalya recently while referring to naysayers who were questioning his policies on the economy, at a talk given to Company Secretaries. Shalya was a friend, relative and close confidante of the Pandavas but ended up fighting against them on the side of Duryodhana, leader of the Kauravas, after falling prey to his tricks. However, this behaviour of Shalya could be taken as part of the Grand Plan for dharma sthapana because it happened when the universe was transforming from Dvapara Yuga to the modern Kali Yuga. Shalya, a Sanskrit word that means “Pointed weapon”.

But now after long time of Kali Yuga, the modern day Shalya in the form of Arvind Subramanian is loyal to his real friends even when functioning under a government with nationalist ideology. It is alleged that Arvind was choice of previous UPA Government for CEA and the Cabinet Committee on Appointments under the Prime Minister appointed Arvind on the recommendations of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Let’s take a look at a tweet of Dr. Swamy’s from last year where he reprimands Arvind for his anti-India conduct abroad and then hinting that Arvind was the choice of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson UPA:

According to the Indian Constitution, appointment and extension of term for the office of CEA is done by the high-powered Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. The current CEA Arvind Subramanian too was appointed by the committee and a press-note was published on the official website of Press Information Bureau announcing the same on 16 October, 2014:

The tenure of Arvind was to end on 15th October of this year but before that on 23rd September Finance Minister announced the extension of CEA’s regime on the official Twitter handle of Finance Ministry :

This very important announcement is neither released on the PIB website nor any official briefing stating the clearance from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet was done. Some sources in Finance Ministry on the condition of anonymity reveal that the Constitutional mandatory clearance of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has not been taken by the Finance Ministry.

It’s will not be less than the murder of the constitution if the constitutional procedure has truly not been followed in the extension of the current CEA’s tenure. The Finance Ministry must clarify on these serious allegations regarding the extension given to the CEA.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. PGurus is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of PGurus and it does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

Ravinder Kaushik

Ravinder Kaushik is an Advocate, enrolled at Bar Council of Punjab & Haryana. His Social Media links are:

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