|Dr. Asim Dasgupta|
|Minister for Finance & Excise|
5 June 1987 – 13 May 2011
|Preceded by||Ashok Mitra|
|Succeeded by||Amit Mitra|
|Preceded by||Kamal Sarkar|
|Succeeded by||Amit Mitra|
4 April 1946|
Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India
|Political party||Communist Party of India (Marxist)|
University of Calcutta|
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dr. Asim Kumar Dasgupta, was the Minister for Finance and Excise in the Left Front ministry in the Indian state of West Bengal. He was the MLA of Khardaha constituency for twenty-four years until 13 May 2011, when he was defeated by FICCI secretary general Amit Mitra by a landslide 26,154 votes in the 2011 Assembly Election of West Bengal. He was one of the 26 ministers who lost his seat this historic defeat of Communist Party of India (Marxist) led Left Front government.
Education and early life
He started his school life in Malda Zilla School and Then He earned his Undergraduate and Postgraduate Degrees In Economics From The University of Calcutta. Thereafter He Secured a Doctorate(PhD) In Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He started his career as a college lecturer and retired as a professor of economics at the University of Calcutta, before moving on to a career in politics.
Role as a minister
After taking over the charge as a Minister of Finance and Excise from Ashok Mitra in 1987, he faced scathing criticism for his so-called 0-deficit budget. The Chief Minister Jyoti Basu used to recommend him to the Chambers of Commerce as the "my US-trained finance minister who will listen to your new ideas" in the first days of liberalization in the 1990s. Even when he abolished vexatious levies such as octroi and highway toll, there was hardly a murmur of protest. He decided to target provident fund defaulters in Bengal (the state leads the national list) and got all the major jute industry barons arrested. When public criticism about the large number of road accidents in Kolkata mounted, Dasgupta spent several hours every morning for a fortnight assisting cops in the city to direct traffic and enforce road safety norms. He launched a similar crackdown on online lotteries, forcing the businesses to shut down through a combination of administrative and judicial initiatives. Later, the chit funds operating in Bengal faced his wrath and a similar crackdown followed.
As the chairman of the empowered committee on value-added tax (VAT), he masterminded the most ambitious tax reform in Indian history since the introduction of the first industry and trading taxes by the British in the early 20th century, by introducing the VAT. He was made the chairman of GST council by the NDA Govt in 2000.Dasgupta admitted in an interview that 80% of the plan had been formulated under his tenure in the GST Council. He resigned from the chairmanship in 2011. GST was finally implemented on 1 July 2017. He is referred to as the architect of India's GST.
- "List of All Ministers". Government of West Bengal. Archived from the original on 6 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
- Khardaha (Vidhan Sabha constituency) (Wikipedia)
- "Political greenhorns emerge giant killers in Bengal", Sify News, May 15, 2011.
- West Bengal CM Buddhadeb Has No Car, House, Land And Only Rs 5,000
- "134 - Khardah Assembly Constituency". Partywise Comparison Since 1977. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- "Khardaha". Assembly Elections May 2011 Results. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2011-05-13.