An autonomous research institute under the Ministry of Finance


Lekha Chakraborty


Lekha Chakraborty large photo
Lekha S. Chakraborty is a Professor at NIPFP and an elected Member of the Governing Board of Management at the International Institute of Public Finance (IIPF) Munich, the world association of public finance economists. She is a pioneer economist in institutionalizing gender budgeting in India, with Chief Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India, in 2004. She is also a research affiliate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, New York. Her areas of interest are macroeconomics of public finance, fiscal federalism, climate financing, extractive sector economics, financing human development, and gender budgeting.
She is the recipient of Infoys Best PhD Thesis Award from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore. Her latest book is 'Fiscal Policy for Sustainable Development in Asia Pacific: Gender Budgeting in India' (published by Palgrave Macmillan). She is also the author of "Fiscal Consolidation, Budget Deficits, and Macroeconomics" by Sage Publications. Her book has received endorsement reviews from Dr. Y. V. Reddy, former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, and also from Professor Vito Tanzi, former IMF Executive Director Fiscal Affairs, and Professor Lant Pritchett of Harvard University. She is co-author of the book "Social Sector in Decentralized Economy: India in the Era of Globalization," published by Cambridge University Press. She has worked for the IMF, ILO, the World Bank, UNESCAP, the UNDP, UN Women, and the Commonwealth Secretariat on short stints. Her work experience on macro-fiscal policy and human development spans across 8 countries: Sweden, Canada, Morocco, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Mexico, and more frequently in the Asia-Pacific region. She was twice an awardee of the Shastri Indo-Canada program from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAIT), Government of Canada. She has been a visiting professor at various universities and delivered lectures at the London School of Economics, American University (Washington, DC), Uppsala University (Sweden), Carleton University (Canada), and the University of Utah, US. She has papers in national and international journals. She is a columnist for the Indian Express, The Hindu, Financial Express, Businessline, Business Standard, The Wire, Hindustan Times, Money Control, and Scroll, and has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, ANI, DD News, AIR World Air Service, and Rajya Sabha.


Research areas

(1) Macroeconomics of Public Deficits, Fiscal Monetary Policy Linkages, Financial Inclusion - Microfinance. (2) Effectiveness of Public Expenditure. Gender budgeting, Human Development. (3) Fiscal Federalism, Decentralisation (4) Fiscal research on Mining Tax and Competitiveness of Extractive Industries

Current research


1. Intergovernmental fiscal transfers (IGFT) and gender equality (with Janet Stotsky IMF and Piysuh Gandhi Oxford University)



2. Effectiveness of Gender Budgeting on Gender Equality Outcomes and Fiscal Space (with Mariam Ingrams OECD and Y Singh JNU) - invited for American Economic Association (AEA/ASSA) Meetings Atlanta January 2019



3. Macroeconometric aanalysis - Determining Private Corporate Investment in India (analysis using Meboot) (with Hrishikesh Vinod, Fordham University and H Karun IMF) - forthcoming in Handbook of Econometrics Volume 41 (edited by Vinod, H and C R Rao (Elsevier)


4. Macroeconomic Policy for Extractive sector 


5. Fiscal forecast errors: Analysis of State Finances (with Pinaki Chakraborty) , Public Innovation Project


6. Tax Buoyancy : Analysis of State Finances (with Pinaki Chakraborty), , Public Innovation Project


7. Environmental Federalism: Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review 

Recent publications

Membership in committees and commissions

  • 2020-present:  Board Member, Governing Board  of International Institute of Public Finance, IIPF Germany.
  • Member, 'Classification of Budgetary Transactions', Chairman :Chief Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Govt of India, 2004
  • Member, 'Segregation of Government Expenditure', Ministry of Finance , Govt of India, 2005
  • Member, Agency and Empowerment, for the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017), Planning Commission.
  • Member, Subgroup on “Gender Mainstreaming and Effective Accountability Mechanisms, for the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017), Govt. of India, Planning Commission.
  • Life Member, Econometric Society of India.
  • Member, IWG-GEM Macroeconomics, University of Utah.
  • Member, Economists for Full Employment (The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, New York)

Professional activities


  • Lead, Asia Pacific research on Gender Budgeting for IMF


  • Fiscal policy for gender equality - prepared the Background paper_ Expert Group Meeting (EGM)  for United Nations Secretary General's (UNSG) Highlevel Panel on Women's Economic Empowerment (WEE)

Professional Service (selected)

2023. Expert, UN Women and ILO High level Panel on “Engendering Fiscal Space”, EGM at Istanbul.

2022. Member, COP27 Steering Committee, India’s 1st Adaptation Communication,  Govt of India

2021-22. Member, Governing Board, NIPFP (Ministry of Finance), New Delhi

2020-2023. Member, Board of Management, International Institute of Public Finance (IIPF), Munich.

2019. American Economic Association (to present my selected paper in Atlanta).

2017-. Fulbright Selection Board Member, US Non-STEM Scholars Programme

2017. Editorial Board, Urban Economics journal, NIUA.

2003. Member, Expert Committee on ‘Classification of Budgetary Transactions’ with Chief Economic Advisor, Govt of India

2005. Member, Committee on “Segregation of Expenditure and budgetary classification”, Ministry of Finance, Govt of India.

2000-. Life Member, Econometric Society of India, since 2000.

2003-. Member, International Working Group on Gender & Macroeconomics, University of Utah

2010-2013 & Since 2016. Member, International Institute of Public Finance (IIPF), Munich.

2008-2010. Executive Member, Econometric Society of India.

2020. UN Asia Pacific, Led the policy research in Asia Pacific region on “Macroeconomic Policy response on Covid19”, Bangkok.

2017. UNESCAP, to lead the Asia Pacific region on “Macroeconomic Policy for SDGs: Fiscal- Monetary Policy Tools” Bangkok.

2017. Expert, UNESCAP & Ministry of Foreign Affairs Asia-Pacific Regional Meetings, Thimphu, Royal Government of Bhutan

2016. Expert, UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, EGM at ILO, Geneva

2016. Nairobi Consultations - “Regional Knowledge Exchange: Implementing the 2030 SDG Agenda”, UNDP Bangkok.

2016. Lead, International Monetary Fund, to lead the Asia Pacific region on “Fiscal policy for gender equality”, Washington DC.

2016. Expert, High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Corporation, Bangkok

2016. Expert, Asia-Pacific Regional Consultations on “Transformative financing for the SDG 2030”, UNESCAP-UNDP, Bangkok

2014. GDN. Led Latin America, Caribbean, Asia Pacific team on “Macroeconomic Volatility & Fiscal Monetary Policies”, Paris.

2013. The Commonwealth Secretariat. Research on “Fiscal Innovations for gender equality”, London.

2013. International Institute of Sustainable Development, Research on “Gender Issues in Energy Reforms”, Geneva.

2010. UNDP, research on “Gender Sensitive Fiscal Policies in Asia Pacific”, Human Development Research Centre, Bangkok.



Other information





1.     Dr Y V Reddy (former Central Bank (RBI Governor and Chairman, Fourteenth Finance Commission):



2.    Prof Vito Tanzi (former Executive Director, Fiscal Affairs IMF).


3.     Prof Pulapre Balakrishnan (former Director, Centre for Development Studies, JNU).



4.     Prof Janet Stotsky (fr IMF Advisor).




Curriculum vitae

Link to CV