|Noted economist Shankar Acharya receiving 1st Vijay Kelkar Award for excellence in public finance from Union Minister of Minority Affairs Najma Heptulla.|
Skoch Group has instituted Vijay Kelkar Award in honour of noted economist and Chairman of 13th Finance Commission Vijay L Kelkar. The first award was conferred on Shankar Acharya, eminent economist and the longest serving Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India, for excellence in public finance.
Acharya, who has been instrumental in formulating and implementing many reform policies that helped transform the country, served as the Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India from 1993 to 2001 – having served four prime ministers, including P V Narasimha Rao, H D Deve Gowda, I K Gujral and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“Shankar Acharya has been the conscience keeper of the government… he has guided the country at the time of several great difficulties including economic sanctions and the Asian economic crisis,” Kelkar said lauding Acharya’s contribution to India’s economy.
Acharya, who is currently Honorary Professor, ICRIER, is fondly remembered as the architect of several budgets laying the foundation of long-term fiscal policy and reforms. He was Member, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister between 2001 and 2003 and Member, Twelfth Finance Commission.
Even after leaving the government services, Acharya continues to be a strong proponent of economic reforms and responsible public finance system. “Shankar Acharya’s deep concern for inclusive and equitable growth was evident in his espousal of economic reforms with prudent fiscal management in the formative phases of India’s post-liberalisation era,” said Sameer Kochhar, Chairman, Skoch Group.
Kochhar said Acharya’s long record of championing in and out of government for reforms with a human face stands him out.
Lauding Acharya’s contribution, Debroy said he has not only been an outstanding public servant and economist but also a great human being. “He is one of the nicest bosses you can have. He was my boss in mid-1990s in the Finance Ministry. He is one of those rare people about whom people say the same thing in front of them and behind their backs.”
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