Asim Dasgupta

Dr. Asim Dasgupta
Minister for Finance & Excise
In office
5 June 1987  13 May 2011
Preceded by Ashok Mitra
Constituency Khardaha
In office
Preceded by Kamal Sarkar
Succeeded by Amit Mitra
Constituency Khardaha
Personal details
Born (1946-04-04) 4 April 1946
Kolkata, West Bengal
Nationality Indian
Political party Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Alma mater University of Calcutta
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Profession Politician

Dr. Asim Kumar Dasgupta, was the Minister for Finance and Excise in the Left Front ministry in the Indian state of West Bengal.[1] He was the MLA of Khardaha constituency for twenty-four years[2] until 13 May 2011, when he was defeated by FICCI secretary general Amit Mitra by a landslide 26,154 votes[3] 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.[4]

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 (value-added tax).[5]

Political career

He was elected to the West Bengal Legislative Assembly from Khardah in 1987, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006.[6] In 2011 he lost to Amit Mitra at Khardah.[7]

In the General elections of 2014, he contested from Dum Dum, West Bengal but lost to Saugata Roy of TMC.


  1. "List of All Ministers". Government of West Bengal. Archived from the original on 6 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  2. Khardaha (Vidhan Sabha constituency) (Wikipedia)
  3. "Political greenhorns emerge giant killers in Bengal", Sify News, May 15, 2011.
  5. "134 - Khardah Assembly Constituency". Partywise Comparison Since 1977. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  6. "Khardaha". Assembly Elections May 2011 Results. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2011-05-13.

External links

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