Ashok Mitra

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Ashok Mitra
Chief Economic Advicer of Government of India
In office
1970 - 1972
Finance Minister of West Bengal
In office
1977 - 1987
Personal details
Born 1928 (age 89–90)
Citizenship Indian
Alma mater

Ashok Mitra is an Indian Marxist economist and politician.

Early life and education

After completing his graduation from the University of Dacca, he came to India following the partition of India in 1947. Although he attended postgraduate classes in economics at the University of Calcutta, he was refused admission there. He moved to Benaras Hindu University where he earned an M.A. in economics. He joined the newly established Delhi School of Economics in the early 1950s. Later, he attended the Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands. Under the guidance of Professor Jan Tinbergen of the University of Rotterdam, he was awarded a doctorate in economics there in 1953.


He taught as a lecturer in Economics at the University of Lucknow for two years before proceeding to the Netherlands to complete his Ph.D. thesis. He taught at the UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East in Bangkok, Thailand before returning to Delhi in 1961. He joined the Economic Development Institute in Washington, DC, as a faculty of economics during the early 1960s. He also worked for the World Bank and then accepted the Professorship in Economics at the newly established Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. He was the Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India, and then Chairman of the Agricultural Prices Commission of the Government of India.

He was Finance Minister of West Bengal from 1977–87.[citation needed] He resigned due to disagreements with the then Chief Minister, Jyoti Basu.[1] In the mid-1990s he became a Member of Rajya Sabha and was Chairman, Parliament's Standing Committee on Industry and Commerce.


Mitra has authored the "Calcutta Diary" in Economic and Political Weekly and "Terms of Trade and Class Relations". He contributes articles regularly to the Calcutta-based national daily newspaper, The Telegraph. He has also written short stories in Bengali.

His publications include China-Issues in Development and From the Ramparts, Prattler's Tale: Recollections of a Contrary Marxist (which has also been published in Bengali as Apila Chapala).


Mitra was married to Gouri, who died aged 79 in May 2008.[2]



  1. ^ Gupta, Subhrangshu (16 August 2003). "Mitra flays CPM for 'patronising' US capitalists". The Tribune. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "Ashok Mitra bereaved". The Hindu. 3 May 2008. Retrieved 2018-01-29. 

Further reading

  • Chakravarty, Suhash (19 March 2007). "The Importance Of Being Ashok Mitra". Outlook. Retrieved 2018-01-29. 

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