Montek Singh Ahluwalia is an Indian economist and civil
servant who was the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of
the Republic of India, a position which carries the rank of a Cabinet
Minister. He was previously the first Director of the Independent
Evaluation Office at the International Monetary Fund.
After graduating from University of Oxford, Ahluwalia joined
the World Bank in 1968. At the age of 28, he became the youngest
"Division Chief" in the World Bank's bureaucracy, in charge of the
Income Distribution Division in the World Bank's Development Research Centre.
He returned to India in 1979 to take up the position of Economic Adviser in the
Ministry of Finance. He held several senior positions as a civil servant,
including Special Secretary to the Prime Minister, Commerce secretary, Secretary
Department of Economic Affairs in the Finance Ministry and Finance Secretary.
Ahluwalia has been a key figure in the Indian economic reform
process. He has consistently pushed for economic reforms involving a shift from
the earlier reliance on extensive government control over the economy with high
levels of protection, to a much more open economy with a larger role for the
private sector responding to market forces and greater openness to imports,
foreign technology and direct foreign investment.