The Indian Economic Service is the administrative inter-ministerial civil service under Group A of the Central Civil Services of the executive benches of the Government of India.
The Indian Economic Service was launched by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for formulating and implementing economic policies and programmes in India. The pioneer steps towards the formation of service can be traced to 1952. A Committee under V. T. Krishnamachari submitted a report in September 1953, recommending the formation of a service to be known as the Statistical and Economic Advisory Service. On the outcome, Prasanta Mahalanobis did not favor the idea of a combined Statistical and Economic Advisory Service.
The Cabinet in its meeting took on 12 February 1958 decided that two separate services should be formed; a Statistical Service and other an Economic Service. The Indian Economic Service was formed on 1 November 1961 and the Service Rules were notified on the same date. The actual operationalization of service operated in 1964.
Role of IES Officers
- Role of the service can be vastly categorized in terms of economic advice, economic administration, implementation of development policy and programmes, besides dealing with other regions such as economic reforms, regulation, price fixation, and monitoring and evaluation. In the rapidly globalizing environment, decision-making is increasingly guided by economic rationality.
- IES officers are exposed to almost all the sectors of government operating. These officers also give link and continuity in policy-making, which is necessary even for policy change. It is because of these factors that IES officers have been increasingly playing a versatile role, of an in-house economist with domain knowledge and experience.
- While the work of IES officers described above is broad in nature, the role and responsibilities of the officers, particularly Economic Advisers, was sought to be clearly enunciated by the Cadre Controlling Authority through its communication dated 31.8.2005. As per its provisions, Economic Advisers are needed to be closely associated with and involved in the economic reforms in the Ministry/ Department to which they are posted. They would advise the related Ministries/ Departments, on a continuous basis, on all policy issues having a bearing on internal and external economic management, and facilitate reforms in the fields/ sectors concerned.
- The Economic Advisers would give the Ministries/ Departments with inputs on all policy-related matters, and their economic implications. The officers could be needed to monitor and evaluate the policy parameters from the economic angle laid down in the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act 2003, and help the Ministry of Finance in preparing annual or any other periodical statement needed for complying with the provisions of the said Act. The Ministries/ Departments could also consult the related Economic Adviser before finalization of their Annual Plan Budgets.
- To ensure that policy launched by individual Ministries/ Departments is consistent with the overall direction of economic policy contained in the Union budget, Five-Year Plans, etc., the Economic Advisers posted to different Ministries/ Departments would interact with the Chief Economic Adviser in the Department of Economic Affairs, on a continuous basis, and ensure that economic implications of policy changes are comprehensively analyzed, and facilitate individual Ministries/ Departments to spearhead reforms in the direction envisaged by the Government.