Foreign Aid in South Asia: The Emerging Scenario


Edited by: Saman Kelegama

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  • Foreign Aid in South Asia

    Foreign Aid in South Asia, edited by one of South Asia's most distinguished economists, Saman Kelegama, brings together a number of scholars from across the region to explore the state of the aid debate as it applies to the region. The volume highlights the country/context specific role of aid, differentiating between countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan where aid is increasingly linked to security concerns, with those relating to its role in post-conflict economies such as Sri Lanka and Nepal. These problem-driven dynamics are then compared to the contrasting role of aid in an emerging economy of the size of India with its role changing from an aid recipient to a donor, and least developed countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan and Maldives experiencing a transformation in aid receipts. The work is informative and analytical which should be of service to academic researchers and policymakers in South Asia as well as for aid donors to the region. The volume should also be of interest to general readers who have been, for years, exposed to debates on the political economy of aid. They would be particularly benefitted by Saman Kelegama's excellent overview of the discussion which provides a succinct update on the evolution of South Asia, from being highly dependent on aid, and being seen as the poster region for aid donors, to a stage of development where migrant remittances far exceed aid as a source of external financing.

    RehmanSobhanChairman, Centre for Policy Dialogue Dhaka, Bangladesh


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    List of Tables

    • 4.1 Unit Root Tests for the Variables ΔY/Y, A1/Y, A2/Y, A3/Y, OFF/Y, ΔX/Y, ΔH, India, 1970–92 64
    • 4.2 Testing for Cointegration: Growth Equation (without Policy Variables), India, 1970–92 65
    • 4.3 Instrumental Variable Estimates of the Error Correction Model (ECM)—Growth Equation, India, 1973–92 66
    • 4.4 Unit Root Tests for the Policy Variables C/Y, TG/Y, MS/Y, India, 1970–92 68
    • 4.5 Testing for Cointegration: Growth Equation (with Policy Variables C/Y, TG/Y, MS/Y), India, 1970–92 69
    • 4.6 Estimation of the Growth Equation with Policy Variable MS/Y, India, 1973–92 72
    • 4.7 Testing for Cointegration: Growth Equation (with Policy Variables C/Y, TG/Y, MS/Y and Uncertainty Variable), India, 1970–92 73
    • 5.1 Pakistan—Macroeconomic Situation, 2001–10 88
    • 5.2 Pakistan Tax to GDP Ratio 91
    • 5.3 Pakistan—Decade-wise Loans and Grants Disbursed (US$ Million) 92
    • 5.4 Term Structure of Loans 93
    • 5.5 External Debt and Liabilities, 2005–10 (US$ Billion) 94
    • 5.6 Project and Non-project Aid Disbursed (US$ Million) 96
    • 5.7 Sector-wise Disbursement of Project Aid (US$ Million) 97
    • 5.8 Top Five Sectoral Disbursements, 2000–09 98
    • 5.9 Net ODA Received Per Capita 100
    • 5.10 Aid as Percentage of GNI 100
    • 5.11 Damage to Pakistan Economy (Rs Billion) 101
    • 5.12 Decade-wise Food and Non-food Aid 101
    • 5.13 Aid Inflows during Various Political Regimes 103
    • 5.14 Aid, Loss of Life and Damage to the Economy 121
    • 6.1 Modalities of Foreign Aid, 2002–09 133
    • 6.2 Revenue Collection, 2004–09 (AF Million) 135
    • 7.1 Contribution of Foreign Aid in Sri Lanka, 2005–09 163
    • 7.2 ODA Disbursed by Sector for NE Specific Projects, 2009 169
    • 7.3 ODA Disbursed by Sector for NE Specific Projects, January-June 2010 170
    • 7.4 Population by Ethnicity in the Eastern Province, 1971 and 1981 191
    • 8.1 Foreign Aid by Donors Type 203
    • 8.2 Meetings of Nepal Aid Group/Nepal Development Forum, 1976–2009 205
    • 8.3 Foreign Aid: Commitment and Disbursement (Rs Million) 218
    • 8.4 Foreign Debt in Nepal (Rs Million) 221
    • 8.5 Top 10 Non-DAC Donors in 2007 (in US$) 230
    • 9.1 A Snapshot of Total Inflow of External Assistance in Bangladesh from 1971–72 to 2007–08 241
    • 9.2 Aid Disbursement by Major Sources from 1990–91 to 2006–07 253
    • 9.3 Regression Results of the Unrestricted Error Correction Model 261
    • 10.1 Selected Social Indicators 265
    • 10.2 10th Five Year Plan Outlay 267
    • 10.3 Expenditure, Revenue and Foreign Grants 269

    List of Figures

    • 5.1 Debt Stock Outstanding 90
    • 5.2 Net ODA Received Per Capita (Current US$) 99
    • 5.3 Aid Received as Percentage of GNI, 1960–2006 99
    • 5.4 External Debt and Servicing 102
    • 5.5 Aid towards Afghan Relief 113
    • 5.6 Major Recipients of Non-DAC Donor Humanitarian Aid, 2009 122
    • 6.1 International Assistance to Afghanistan, 2002–08 130
    • 6.2 Aid Committed and Disbursed, 2002–08 130
    • 6.3 Trends in Foreign Aid, 2002–08 (Disbursed) 131
    • 6.4 Multilateral Aid, 2002–08 132
    • 6.5 Domestic Revenues and Expenditures, 2004–09 135
    • 6.6 Aid Allocation by Sector, 2001–09 138
    • 6.7 Provincial Disparities in Total Planned/Committed Government and Donor Aid, 2007–2008 146
    • 7.1 Multilateral Aid in Sri Lanka, 2003–09 164
    • 7.2 Bilateral Aid in Sri Lanka (Excluding Japan), 2005–09 166
    • 7.3 Trends in External Finance, 2005–09 166
    • 7.4 Outstanding Foreign Debt, 2005–09 167
    • 7.5 Fiscal Imbalances in Sri Lanka, 1990–2009 171
    • 8.1 Trends in Foreign Aid in Nepal, 1950/51–2008/09 201
    • 8.2 Composition of Foreign Aid by Grant and Loan, 1969/70–2008/09 202
    • 8.3 Foreign Aid as Per cent of National Expenditure 207
    • 8.4 Sectoral Allocation of Foreign Aid, 1990–2009 213
    • 8.5 Net ODA 2009 as Per cent of GNI 216
    • 8.6 Official Aid, 1990–2009 217
    • 9.1 Export, Remittance and Aid 243
    • 9.2 Aid as Percentage of Bangladesh's ADP and Annual Budget 244
    • 9.3 Net ODA: Bangladesh, HIPCs and LICs (Percentage of GDP) 245
    • 9.4 Aid Commitment and Disbursement 246
    • 9.5 Grants and Loans in Aid 247
    • 9.6 Trend of Debt-GDP Ratio for Bangladesh 248
    • 9.7 Debt Service by Bangladesh 249
    • 9.8 Aid in Terms of Purpose 251
    • 9.9 Aid in Terms of Source 252
    • 9.10 Trend in Shares of Aid Disbursement by Sector from 1972–73 to 2007–08 258
    • 9.11 Trend in Share of Aid Disbursement by Social Sectors from 1972–73 to 2007–08 259
    • 9.12 Trend in Share of Aid Disbursement by Infrastructural Sectors, 1972–73 to 2007–08 259
    • 10.1 Contribution of Bilateral, Multilateral and IFIs to Development Assistance in 9th and 10th Plans 270
    • 10.2 Grants as a Percentage of Expenditure 271
    • 10.3 Grants as a Percentage of GDP 271
    • 10.4 Share of External Grants for 2008–09 272
    • 11.1 Foreign Grant Receipts, 1994–2009 286
    • 11.2 Foreign Loan Disbursements, 1994–2008 288
    • 11.3 External Resources by Type, 2000–08 288
    • 11.4 Bilateral Grant Inflows by Source Country, 1994–2009 290

    List of Abbreviations

    AAAAccra Agenda for Action
    ABSDAccelerating Bhutan's Socio-Economic Development
    ACPAfrican, Caribbean and Pacific
    ADBAsian Development Bank
    ADPAnnual Development Programme
    AJKAzad Jammu and Kashmir
    AKRSPAga Khan Rural Support Programme
    ANDSAfghanistan National Development Strategy
    ARTFAfghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund
    BoPBalance of Payments
    CASCountry Assistance Strategy
    cCAPCommon Country Action Plan
    CGEComputable General Equilibrium
    CISCommonwealth of Independent States
    CNTFCounter Narcotics Trust Fund
    CPIACountry Policy and Institutional Analysis
    CRSCreditor Reporting System
    CSOCivil Society Organization
    DACDevelopment Assistance Committee
    DADDevelopment Assistance Database
    DFIDirect Foreign Investment
    DFIDDepartment For International Development
    DFRDonor Financial Review
    EADEconomic Affairs Division
    ECEuropean Commission
    ERCCExternal Resources Coordinating Committee
    ERDExternal Resources Department
    ESAPEnhanced Structural Adjustment Programme
    ESDPEducation Sector Development Programme
    EUEuropean Union
    FAPForeign Aid Policy
    FATAFederally Administered Tribal Area
    FDIForeign Direct Investment
    FESFriedrich Ebert Stiftung
    FoDPFriends of Democratic Pakistan
    GDPGross Domestic Product
    GNHGross National Happiness
    GNIGross National Income
    GNPGross National Product
    GSP+Generalized System of Preferences Plus
    GUMGeneral Unrestricted Model
    HIPCHeavily Indebted Poor Country
    HLFHigh Level Forum
    IAPImmediate Action Plan
    IBRDInternational Bank for Reconstruction and Development
    IDAInternational Development Association
    IDBIslamic Development Bank
    IDPInternally Displaced Person
    IFIInternational Financial Institution
    IMFInternational Monetary Fund
    INGOInternational Non-governmental Organization
    IPSInstitute of Policy Studies
    ISFDIslamic Solidarity Fund for Development
    JCMBJoint Coordination Monitoring Board
    LDCLeast Developed Country
    LICLow Income Country
    LOTFALaw and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan
    LTTELiberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
    MDGsMillennium Development Goals
    MDPMahaweli Development Project
    MFAMulti Fibre Arrangement
    MfDRManaging for Development Results
    MoUMemorandum of Understanding
    MRRDMinistry of Rural Reconstruction and Development
    MTEFMedium Term Expenditure Framework
    MYRBMulti Year Rolling Budget
    NAPNational Action Plan
    NCEDNational Council for Economic Development
    NDCMNepal Donor Consultation Meeting
    NDFNepal Development Forum
    NENorth and East
    NGONon-governmental Organization
    NRSPNational Rural Support Program
    NSPNational Solidarity Programme
    ODAOverseas Development Assistance
    OECDOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
    OFFOther Financial Flows
    PDParis Declaration
    PDFPakistan Development Forum
    PEMSPublic Expenditure Management System
    PFMPublic Financial Management
    PFUPerformance Facilitation Unit
    PIUParallel Implementation Unit
    PLaMSPlanning and Monitoring System
    PPAFPakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund
    PRGFPoverty Reduction and Growth Facility
    PRSPoverty Reduction Strategy
    PRSPPoverty Reduction Strategy Paper
    PRTProvincial Reconstruction Team
    PSDPPublic Sector Development Programme
    RBMResults Based Management
    REAPRural Economy Advancement Programme
    REERReal Effective Exchange Rate
    RERReal Exchange Rate
    ROZReconstruction Opportunity Zone
    RSPRural Support Programme
    RTMRound Table Meeting
    SAMSocial Accounting Matrix
    SALStructural Adjustment Loan
    SAPStructural Adjustment Programme
    SATPSouth Asia Terrorism Portal
    SBAStand By Arrangement
    SIDSSmall Island Developing State
    SMESmall and Medium Enterprises
    SSCSouth-South Cooperation
    SWAPSector Wide Approach
    TATechnical Assistance
    UNAMAUnited Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan
    UNCDFUnited Nations Capital Development Fund
    UNDAFUnited Nations Development Assistance Framework
    UNDPUnited Nations Development Programme
    UNFPAUnited Nations Population Fund
    UNICEFUnited Nations Children's Fund
    USAIDUnited States Agency for International Development
    VATValue Added Tax
    VECMVector Error Correction Model
    WFPWorld Food Programme


    The South Asian countries discussed in this book went through changing priorities for foreign assistance programmes set by Western donors since the 1950s. Newly independent countries sought assistance to meet their development needs and aspirations. The bilateral and multilateral initiatives for assistance led to the establishment of Aid Consortiums or Groups under the chair of the World Bank, first for India (1958) and then followed by Pakistan (1960), Sri Lanka (1965) and Bangladesh (1972) after its independence in 1971. These were the initial efforts by the Western donor community, Japan and the multilateral agencies, principally the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB), at setting priorities for the foreign assistance needs of South Asian countries in a coordinated manner. Many issues remain even half a century after the first Aid Consortium was set up.

    Several international initiatives were undertaken in the new millennium to assist developing countries to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were adopted by the international community in 2000. The first was the Monterrey Consensus of 2002, which led to the Rome High Level Forum (HLF) (2003), the Paris Declaration (PD) on Aid Effectiveness (2005) and the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) (2008). The meetings focussed on the modalities for increasing development assistance and enhancing the predictability of aid; harmonization of assistance; ownership, management of projects and programmes for results and mutual accountability; use of country systems for aid delivery, untying aid and increased transparency in reviewing aid.1 These efforts continued at the HLF in Korea in 2011.

    Donors made commitments at the G8 Summit in 2005 and other meetings to increase development assistance.2 Fifteen members of the European Union (EU) who are also members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development committed to reach a minimum ODA/GNI3 target of 0.51 per cent by 2010. Eight of them met the target. The US did not commit to this target but agreed to double its aid to sub-Saharan Africa between 2004 and 2010 and did so by 2009. Its ODA/GNI ratio was 0.21 per cent in 2010, while that of Japan was 0.20 per cent. The other large donors were France, Germany and the UK, while Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden exceeded the UN ODA/GNI target of 0.70 per cent in 2010.

    Since 2008, the global financial crisis is having an impact on the capacity and willingness of donors to continue meeting longer term commitments to increase development assistance that were made earlier. Natural disasters such as those in Japan in the early part of 2011 will also have a bearing. Some donors are directing requests for assistance from countries undergoing political change in the Middle East to multilateral institutions.

    It has been a challenge for countries to coordinate foreign assistance from different sources following multiple objectives. Donor consortiums or aid groups were expected to assist but the recipients face difficulties due to capacity problems within government administrations. Initially, countries dealt with bilateral and multilateral lenders and multiple agencies for technical assistance. Bilateral assistance was often tied. Countries also had to develop the capacity to manage commercial borrowings from banking institutions, export credit agencies and suppliers. An expanding role was given to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as bilateral donors began to diversify their delivery mechanisms.

    These actions exacerbated the capacity problems for recipients. Government agencies have limited ability to monitor activities of NGOs, particularly during humanitarian crises. Examples abound. After the Asian tsunami of December 2004, many NGOs competed for the ‘same turf’. As donor governments began to utilize NGOs for aid delivery more extensively, they were reluctant to provide full details of their activities to recipients. The basic requirement of providing the recipient countries with information on aid flows, particularly of grant funds, became another challenge, particularly when the recipient did not have the capacity to follow up the work undertaken by NGOs effectively.

    A recent study on aid agencies4 that measured best practices based on aid transparency, specialization, selectivity, ineffective aid channels and overhead costs found that among the bilateral agencies, the UK did well while the performance of the US was below the average. Among the multilateral agencies, the UN agencies are in the bottom half. The study admits that disaggregated data on the impact of aid on beneficiaries is not available to measure the quality of aid.

    Out of the eight South Asian countries, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Nepal remain in the low income country category with per capita Gross National Income (GNI) below US$995, while the others are in the lower middle income category with per capita GNI in the range of US$996 to US$3945. Afghanistan and Nepal were eligible to seek assistance from the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative which provided debt relief. The latter did not participate in the programme. Afghanistan completed the programme and received full assistance under the Initiative.

    As countries move up the income ladder, they will receive reduced amounts of concessional assistance. India and Pakistan are blend countries receiving a mix of concessional and non-concessional assistance from the World Bank, while the others continue to receive all assistance from the International Development Association, though some are in transition to blend status. Similarly, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka receive a blend of resources from the ADB while the others, with the exception of India, continue to receive concessional assistance from the Asian Development Fund.

    Grants and concessional loans will decline and will be replaced by loans on harder terms when low income countries move to higher income levels. There will be non-concessional borrowings from export credit agencies, foreign financial and multilateral institutions and international capital markets. Greater efforts will be made to mobilize resources from the domestic capital market, depending on its state of development. The countries will need to develop the capacity not only for coordinating foreign assistance programmes, but also for managing external and domestic public debt, leading to the formulation of a borrowing policy and strategy. This has implications for capacity building within the agencies responsible for this function. There should also be simultaneous and effective coordination of policy formulation among the agencies and staff responsible for foreign assistance programmes, public debt management as well as fiscal, monetary and exchange rate policies of the government.

    The authors of the country chapters following this volume are to be congratulated for their contributions to the first comprehensive study of this subject in the region. It would be a pity, however, if these efforts are to remain only at the level of chapters prepared and submitted. South Asian governments would benefit from reviewing the conclusions reached and, where appropriate, using them in the policymaking process.

    NihalKappagodaSovereign Debt Management Consultant Ottawa, Canada

    1. Overview of Global Reforms in Foreign Aid, Indrajith Coomaraswamy, Chapter 2.

    2. Development aid reaches a historic high in 2010, OECD,

    3. Overseas Development Assistance/Gross National Income.

    4. Easterly, William and Claudia Williamson, ‘Reality vs. Rhetoric: The Best and Worst of Aid Agency Practices’,


    The topic of Foreign Aid in South Asia came up for discussion at the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS) after the institute got involved in preparing the Sri Lankan country paper on foreign aid for a conference on aid organized by the North-South Institute in Ottawa at Wilton Park in May 2007. Thereafter, it was decided to have a detailed look at aid in the South Asian region from the perspective of the individual country situation. The IPS prepared a detailed concept paper on the subject and submitted it to Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), Colombo, for possible funding. The application was successful and the institute then proceeded to mobilize regional experts to prepare country papers to be presented at a Conference in Colombo in July 2010.

    The IPS is most grateful to Joachin Schluetter, Resident Director, FES, Colombo, for readily providing financial support for the Conference. Rohini Peiris of FES provided organizational support to which we are very thankful. We are also grateful to all contributors for submitting their papers on time. Thanks go to all chairpersons/discussants of various sessions: Dushni Weerakoon, Darini Rajasingham, W. D. Lakshman, Sridhar Khatri, Sirimal Abeyratne, Vickram Misri, Narhari Rao, Neha Mallik, Shekhar Shah, Zaidi Sattar, Amal Jayawardena, Rohan Gunaratne, Edward Bell and Koshy Mathai. The contributors revised their papers in the light of the comments made by the discussants, members of the audience and the chairpersons. It is these revised papers that have been included as chapters in this volume.

    Deshal De Mel, Research Economist, IPS, played a key role in preparing the concept paper and organizing the conference, while Anneka De Silva played a valuable supporting role. I am most grateful to both these researchers from the IPS for their valuable inputs. I am also grateful to Nihal Kappagoda for writing the Foreword to this volume and D. D. M. Waidyasekera for editing the final manuscript.

    Last but not least, my thanks go to Sharmini De Silva for taking a lead role in organizing the conference and preparing the manuscript for publication.

    SamanKelegamaIPS, Colombo July 2011
  • About the Editor and Contributors

    The Editor

    Saman Kelegama, D.Phil. (oxon), is the Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS), Colombo. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka, Colombo, and was also the President of Sri Lanka Economic Association (SLEA), Colombo, during 1999–2003.

    An alumni of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India, where he received his Masters degree, Dr Kelegama has published extensively on economic issues of South Asia, and especially on Sri Lanka, in both local and international journals. His latest books are: Trade Liberalization and Poverty in South Asia (2011) and Economic and Social Development under a Market Economy Regime in Sri Lanka (2011). Migration, Remittances, and Development in South Asia (2011), Promoting Economic Cooperation in South Asia: Beyond SAFTA (2010), Trade in Services in South Asia: Opportunities and Risks of Liberalization (2009), South Asia in the WTO (2007), Development under Stress: Sri Lankan Economy in Transition (2006), Contemporary Economic Issues: Sri Lanka in the Global Context (2006), South Asia After the Quota System: The Impact of the MFA Phase-Out (2005), Economic Policy in Sri Lanka: Issues and Debates (2004) and Ready-Made Garment Industry in Sri Lanka: Facing the Global Challenge (2004) among many others.

    He is the editor of the South Asia Economic Journal and serves as a referee for a number of international journals. He serves and had served in a number of government and private sector Boards as an independent member. He was a member of the National Economic Council under the President of Sri Lanka and the Presidential Taxation Commission of Sri Lanka.

    The Contributors

    Vaqar Ahmed has worked as a Senior Economist with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the ministries of finance, planning and commerce in Pakistan. He is a faculty member at National University of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland, where he teaches public sector economics. He is currently an Advisor at the Planning Commission of Pakistan, where he coordinates the overall work on under formulation economic growth strategy and 10th Five Year Plan.

    Indrajit Coomaraswamy was an official in the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Colombo, from 1974 to 1989. He worked in the Economic Research, Statistics and Bank Supervision Divisions. During this time he was also seconded to the Ministry of Finance and Planning (1981–89).

    He was employed by the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1990–2008. During this time, he held the positions, inter alia, of Director, Economic Affairs Division and Deputy-Director, Secretary-General's Office. He was subsequently Interim Director, Social Transformation Programme Division, Commonwealth Secretariat (January-July 2010).

    He completed his undergraduate degree at University of Cambridge, UK, and obtained his Doctorate at the University of Sussex, UK.

    Deshal de Mel is Research Economist at the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS), Colombo. His primary research areas include international trade, regionalism, international aid, trade in services and macroeconomics. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Oxford, UK, where he read philosophy, political science and economics. He completed his Masters Degree in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics, UK. Along with academic research, Deshal has been involved in international trade negotiations representing Sri Lanka. He has been active in consultative and collaborative work with USAID, UNIDO, UNESCAP, ADB and World Bank, among others.

    Anneka De Silva is a researcher at GHK Consulting Limited, London, UK. She completed her MSc from the University of Manchester, UK, in 2009, before undertaking research at the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS), Colombo. Her main research areas are: aid effectiveness, international trade, climate change, mitigation and labour economics in South and South East Asia. She has co-authored articles on aid effectiveness and international trade for the IPS annual publication, State of the Economy, and Trade Insight magazine.

    Michael Dickerson is currently working on his PhD at Brown University, Rhode Island, USA. He has published articles on inequality, basic education and India as an emerging donor of development assistance, while serving as a research associate and consultant at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), New Delhi.

    Rajiv Kumar, a well-known economist and the author of several books, joined the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) as Director General in October 2010. Prior to FICCI, he was Director & Chief Executive of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), one of India's leading independent economic policy thinktanks. He is a nonexecutive member of the Central Board of Directors of the State Bank of India; a member of the G-20 Advisory Group, Ministry of Finance, Government of India; Member of India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) Board of Trustees; and has a seat on the Board of Directors for the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF). He is also a member of the Expert Committee of the National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) of the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. He was a member of the National Security Advisory Board during 2006–2008.

    From 1987 to 1989, Dr Kumar taught at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi, India. Subsequently, he worked for the Government of India from 1989 to 1995, first in the Bureau of Industrial Costs and Prices, Ministry of Industry, and then as Economic Adviser in the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance. In 1995, Dr Kumar joined the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila, Philippines, and assumed several positions during his 10-year term. In 2004, he returned to India to join the Confederation of Indian Industries, New Delhi, as Chief Economist.

    A PhD from University of Lucknow, India, Dr Kumar also has a D.Phil. in Economics from University of Oxford, UK. His latest book, Many Futures of India, published in April 2011, is a compilation of his columns in some of India's leading dailies. He contributes a regular column to Business Line, a leading business daily. His views on matters relating to the economy are widely sought.

    George Mavrotas, D.Phil. from the University of Oxford, UK, is the Chief Economist of the Global Development Network (GDN), New Delhi. He is also a Visiting Professor at Center for Studies and Research on International Development (CERDI), University of Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France; a Non-Resident Associate Fellow at the Centre of Regional Integration Studies of the United Nations University (UNU-CRIS), Bruges, USA; and an Adjunct Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji. He was formerly a Senior Fellow and Project Director at the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University (UNU-WIDER) and, prior to that, at the Economics Faculties of the Universities of Oxford and Manchester. He has published more than 120 papers in leading journals and 9 books on a broad range of development issues.

    Thinley Namgyel is Chief Programme Officer at the Gross National Happiness Commission in Bhutan.

    Hussain Niyaaz has a PhD from the University of Waikato, New Zealand, and an MA from The Australilan National University, Canberra, Australia. He is a demographer by training and has vast experience in the areas of population surveys and censuses, analysis of demographic data, population and development policy and teaching and supervision for tertiary students. Currently, he is involved in mobilizing external resources for the national development projects in the Maldives. In his personal capacity, he continues to be engaged in population research and teaching activities.

    Bishwambher Pyakuryal is Professor of Economics at the Tribhuvan University, Nepal; a Professional Associate of the East-West Center, Hawaii; a Senior Fulbright Scholar in the United States and Scholar-in-Residence of the Rockefeller Foundation in Italy. Professor Pyakuryal was a member of Independent South Asian Commission on Poverty Alleviation (ISACPA). He has been on the Management Committee of South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE), Kathmandu, Nepal. Professor Pyakuryal is the President of Nepal Economic Association. He is also a member of the Policy Analysis and Advisory Network for South Asia (PAANSA), of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington, D.C., USA. Professor Pyakuryal has been on various missions in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as Chairman of South Asia Regional Programme Committee of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), London, UK, and has worked as a consultant and resource person for several international organizations.

    Selim Raihan is Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. He holds a PhD from the University of Manchester, UK, and his research has focused on international trade, macroeconomic policies and poverty. Some of his recently published books are: Trade Development Poverty Linkages: Experiences from Selected Asian and Sub-Saharan African Countries—Vol. I and II (2008); Domestic Preparedness for Services Trade Liberalization: Are South Asian Countries Prepared for Further Liberalization? (2008); Dynamics of Trade Liberalization in Bangladesh: Analyses of Policies and Practices (2007); WTO and Regional Trade Negotiations Outcomes: Potential Implications on Bangladesh (2007); Trade and Industrial Policy Environment in Bangladesh (2007) and Export Diversification for Human Development in the Post-ATC Era (2007). Dr Raihan has collaborated with several organizations including ADB, UNDP, World Bank, IFPRI, DFID, Commonwealth Secretariat, ILO, IDRC and CUTS International.

    Surabhi Tandon graduated in 2009, with an MSc in Development Studies, from the London School of Economics, UK, where she also received the Rajiv Gandhi Scholarship for her Master's thesis. In 2009, Surabhi worked as a consultant with the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), New Delhi, India, where she co-authored a paper with Dr Rajiv Kumar, the then Director of ICRIER and Michael Dickerson. They also presented their paper at the high-level forum in Bogota, Columbia, organized by the OECD on South-South Cooperation in Aid-Effectiveness. Since early 2010, Surabhi has been working with the Global Development Network (GDN), New Delhi, as a Research Associate. Surabhi also has a BA Honours (distinction) in History from Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi, New Delhi.

    Muhammad Abdul Wahab is currently working as an Economist with the Planning Commission of Pakistan. He has also worked as an economic and financial analyst for National Highway Authority (NHA), Long Term Engineering Pvt Ltd (LTE), National Logistic Cell (NLC) and Wi-tribe, all in Pakistan. He has published in areas such as aid policy, human resource development and small and medium enterprises.

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