Ashok Mitra

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Ashok Mitra
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
for West bengal
In office
19 August 1993 - 18 August 1999
Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India
In office
Preceded by VK Ramaswamy
Succeeded by Manmohan Singh
Finance Minister of West Bengal
In office
Member of West Bengal Legislative Assembly
In office
Preceded by Dinesh Chandra Majumdar
Succeeded by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee
Constituency Jadavpur
Member of West Bengal Legislative Assembly
In office
Preceded by Lakshmi Kanta Bose
Succeeded by Hoimi Basu
Constituency Rashbehari Avenue
Personal details
Born (1928-04-10)10 April 1928
Dacca, East Bengal, British Raj
Died 1 May 2018(2018-05-01) (aged 90)
Citizenship Indian
Alma mater University of Dacca
Benaras Hindu University
Delhi School of Economics
University of Rotterdam
Awards Sahitya Akademi Award

Ashok Mitra (10 April 1928[1] – 1 May 2018) was an Indian economist and Marxist politician. He was a chief economic adviser to the Government of India and later became finance minister of West Bengal and a member of the Rajya Sabha.

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 Banaras 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.



Mitra 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 in the 1960s. In the early-1990s he became the chairman of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta.


After returning to India he accepted the professorship in economics at the newly established Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. He was the chief economic adviser and later chairman of the Agricultural Prices Commission, both of the Government of India. He was finance minister of West Bengal from 1977–87.[citation needed].[2] In the mid-1990s he became a member of the Rajya Sabha and was chairman of the Parliament's Standing Committee on Industry and Commerce.


He authored the "Calcutta Diary" in Economic and Political Weekly and "Terms of Trade and Class Relations". He contributed articles regularly to the Calcutta-based national daily newspaper, The Telegraph. He also wrote short stories in Bengali. He was conferred the Sahitya Academi Award in 1996 for his Esseys entitled Tal Betal. 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).

He founded a journal entitled Arek Rakam.

Death and family

Mitra was married to Gouri, who died aged 79 in May 2008.[3] He died on 1 May 2018 at the age of 90.[4]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Gupta, Subhrangshu (16 August 2003). "Mitra flays CPM for 'patronising' US capitalists". The Tribune. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Ashok Mitra bereaved". The Hindu. 3 May 2008. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  4. ^ "Veteran Marxist economist and politician Ashok Mitra, 89, is dead". Business Standard. 1 May 2018.

Further reading

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

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