Two prominent economists are scheduled to participate at the Samagi Jana Balawegaya's Buddhi Mandapaya national convention to be held at Hotel Shangri-La in Colombo today (07).

Dr. Surjit S. Bhalla, the former Executive Director for India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bhutan at the International Monetary Fund and Tilak Abeysinghe, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore will deliver guest lectures at the event.

Dr. Bhalla has served as part-time member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Economic Advisory Council, and has served on several government committees, including Chairperson High Level Advisory Group on Trade (2018-19) and member, RBI Capital Account Convertibility Committees, 1999 and 2006.


Dr. Surjit S. Bhalla


He has taught at the Delhi School of Economics and served as executive director of the Policy Group in New Delhi, the country’s first non-government funded think tank.

He has worked as a research economist at the RAND Corporation, the Brookings Institution, and at both the research and treasury departments of the World Bank, and as a consultant to Warburg Pincus. He has also worked on Wall Street in Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs.

He was founder-chairman of Oxus Research & Investments 1997-2016 and was Senior India Analyst for the Observatory Group, NY, and has also been a Contributing Editor for Indian Express.

He is the author of several academic articles, books, and more than 1500 op-eds in national newspapers and magazines.

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Tilak Abeysinghe


Meanwhile, Senior Research Advisor of Marga Institute, and Gamani Corea Foundation Tilak Abeysinghe will also deliver a lecture at the Buddhi Mandapaya.

He was a Senior Research Advisor at the Asia Competitiveness Institute, National University of Singapore. He was also professor in the Department of Economics, National University of Singapore, having joined the Department in 1988 and retired in July 2019. In the Department he served as the Director of the Singapore Centre for Applied and Policy Economics and Executive Committee member of the Department.

He held other important administrative responsibilities such as Deputy/Acting Headship, Director of Economics Graduate Program and member of the Faculty Tenure and Promotion Committee. He was also a Visiting Professor at Kyoto University and Peradeniya University.

He obtained his Ph.D. in Economics/Econometrics from the University of Manitoba and worked for the United States Agency for International Development (Colombo) before joining NUS. He has researched on a range of theoretical and applied econometric topics. Applied work includes the Singapore economy, housing affordability, stress and cancer, quantitative health research, welfare spending and fiscal sustainability, quality adjusted labor input, subnational economies of Sri Lanka, and supply chain issues in Sri Lanka. He has published in various reputable international outlets like Journal of Econometrics and NBER paper series.

A major line of his research has been the econometric modelling of the Singapore economy, forecasting and policy analyses. As the coordinator of the Econometric Studies Unit since 1992 he has built a number of econometric models, one of which appears in the Routledge book, The Singapore Economy: An Econometric Perspective.

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