Arvind Panagariya who was the Vice-Chairman of Niti Aayog, analyzing the Union Budget of current financial year wrote in Economic Times criticizing the budget stating it takes us back to the pre-1991 Indian economy. He mentioned that when the custom duties on some products were increased in December 2017, he considered that this step was to raise the Government revenue but he was disappointed when in the budget, duties on various other products like footwear, kites, vehicles and mobile phones were increased. This has received criticism from many economists.
He added that as per Hasmukh Adhia who is the revenue secretary, the duties were increased to protect the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
Ashwani Mahajan of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch voiced that Arvind Panagariya has mistaken in comparing the current situation to that of pre-1991.
Subramanian Swamy expressed his views regarding this by stating that Panagariya was a part of this economic establishment of India for almost 3.5 years and has taken part in all the private Government discussions and such a judgment by him on the current budget surprised Swamy.
Mahajan mentioned that earlier in many initiatives of Government, Panagariya tried to have his influence on the decisions. BJP had proclaimed that they would increase the Minimum Support Price in 2014 election if they won. But the increase in MSP by 50% was not supported because Panagariya was against this, so it took such a long time to bring that into action.
Swami and Mahajan, speaking against Panagariya, said that he was not well suited to be the head of Niti Aayog, after all, he was a foreigner and was not aware of the economic establishments of India. Swamy stated that people like Dr Vaidyanathan would be better at such positions because they are the economists with Indian roots.