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Former Reserve Bank of India chief Bimal Jalan preps for new role

Jalan has been appointed the chairman of Expenditure Management Commission, which will look into various aspects of expenditure reforms to be undertaken by the government.

Expenditure Management Commission Chairman Bimal Jalan (Photo: Reuters) Expenditure Management Commission Chairman Bimal Jalan (Photo: Reuters)

Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Bimal Jalan has been named the chairman of the Expenditure Management Commission, a new initiative unveiled in Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's Budget speech to improve the efficacy of the government spending in order to achieve maximum output.

The 72-year-old Jalan was appointed to the post on Tuesday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Jalan has held several administrative and advisory positions in the past, including Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Finance Secretary and Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister. He was also a member of the Rajya Sabha during 2003-09.

Subir Gokarn, a former Deputy Governor of the RBI, was named a member of the Expenditure Management Commission, which was given 18 months to submit its report.

During his Budget speech on July 10, Jaitley had announced the setting up of the Expenditure Management Commission as part of the government's commitment to the principle of "Minimum Government Maximum Governance".

"To achieve this goal, time has come to review the allocative and operational efficiencies of government expenditure to achieve maximum output. The government will constitute an Expenditure Management Commission, which will look into various aspects of expenditure reforms to be undertaken by the government," he had said.

Jaitley had said in his speech that the Expenditure Management Commission will submit "its interim report within this financial year".

He had also said he proposed to "overhaul the subsidy regime, including food and petroleum subsidies, and make it more targeted while providing full protection to the marginalised, poor and SC/STs." As part of this drive, a new urea policy would also be framed, Jaitley said.

In recent weeks, Jaitley has said the proposed subsidy bill will be one of the major tasks before the Expenditure Management Commission.