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May 6, 2002 | 0915 IST
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Shankar Acharya resigns as chief economic adviser

BS Economy Bureau

Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha will soon have his sixth Budget team with a new chief economic adviser and finance secretary.

Official sources confirmed that Shankar Acharya has now tendered his resignation as chief economic adviser. He had gone on a sabbatical to the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations in December 2000.

This has paved the way for the appointment of a new chief economic adviser by the Union Public Service Commission.

Rakesh Mohan, who resigned as adviser to the finance minister, will join the ICRIER as chief executive on May 16. The UPSC will advertise for the chief economic adviser's post shortly.

The appointment will be made in a month. The director of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, Ashok Lahiri, and Planning Commission advisers Pronab Sen and Arvind Virmani are learnt to be interested in the job.

Official sources said the government had decided to appoint economic affairs secretary C M Vasudev as executive director at the World Bank on August 1. He will replace B P Singh who completes his term in July.

Though Vasudev retires in April 2003, he will not be in the core Budget team next year.

"Since the World Bank's appointments are elected positions, one does not keep them vacant," a top government official said.

Being the senior-most official, revenue secretary S Narayan is likely to be economic affairs secretary or finance secretary.

It will be interesting to see if Sinha reverts to the old system of designating the senior-most secretary as finance secretary. He diverted from tradition last year by not having a finance secretary.

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