Sushil Wadhwani, an Indian-origin scholar, has been appointed to the UK Chancellor’s new Economic Advisory Council

Sushil Wadhwani, an Indian-origin investment expert, is one of four financial experts named by UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to a new Economic Advisory Council, which will convene on a monthly basis and operate as a consultative platform to offer independent advice to the government. Wadhwani, who is the Chief Investment Officer at PGIM Wadhwani and has over 30 years of investment experience, was a previous member of the Bank of England’s independent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

He will be joined by Gertjan Vlieghe of Element Capital, who has also served on the MPC, as well as Rupert Harrison of BlackRock and Karen Ward of JP Morgan Asset Management, both of whom have worked with previous UK finance ministers. Hunt announced the idea in the House of Commons on Monday evening, saying the panel will provide ministers with “more independent expert input.” “I am excited to be working with such a distinguished group of economic specialists whose advise will be helpful,” Hunt added.

“In an era of global economic stress and volatility, compounded by [Russian President] Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine,” he stated. The announcement comes after the Chancellor, who was appointed last week by British Prime Minister Liz Truss to replace dismissed Kwasi Kwarteng, pledged to do “everything is necessary for economic stability” in an emergency budgetary statement released on Monday.

According to the UK Treasury, all members of the new council, which will be enlarged in the future, will be attending in an independent position and were chosen for their “personal experience and expertise” as applicable to advising the government on the UK economy. The Treasury stated that care will be taken to ensure that Council members do not have access to any material non-public information or market sensitive information.

Jeremy Hunt hinted additional potential U-turns in his Commons statement on Monday as he answered questions from MPs, stating he was “not against the notion” of windfall taxes on very profitable energy corporations – something Truss consistently ruled out during her leadership bid. “I am not opposed to taxation profits that are legitimate windfalls. Nothing is off the table, as we have stated “In answer to a question from Liberal Democrat Leader Sir Ed Davey, Hunt stated. “I’m not making any pledges on specific policy areas,” he continued, “but every decision we make will be filtered through the lens of what matters most, to the most vulnerable.”

(source : PTI)

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