A 1992 batch Indian Economic Service officer, Praveen Mahto is Adviser, NITI Aayog, and has over 26 years of experience in various infrastructure sectors and public-private partnership (PPP) models.
Mahto began his career with a short six-month stint in the Directorate of Agriculture and Statistics. Here, he was involved in policy issues related to cash crops. Thereafter, in 1994, he moved to the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, to monitor externally aided projects being implemented in the country. Through his consistent efforts, systems were put in place to eliminate inefficiencies and ensure timely completion of projects. Further, he also ensured that the amount accumulated on account of non-disbursement of loans was significantly minimised. Later, in 1998, he moved to the Department of Consumer Affairs where he was involved in monitoring the prices of essential commodities.
During the period from December 2003 to December 2010, he served as director in the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and was entrusted with important tasks such as the implementation of a credit policy, the credit guarantee scheme and microfinance scheme. During his tenure as director, he accomplished several important tasks such as announcing a credit package for MSMEs, ensuring significant growth in coverage under the credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs, and releasing the Prime Minister’s Task Force Report on the MSME sector.
In December 2010, he moved to NITI Aayog as director, PPP and Infrastructure, and was later promoted to adviser, PPP, in June 2014. He was given additional charge of the project appraisal and management division (PAMD) in March 2015 and has since continued to hold both charges at NITI Aayog.
At the think tank, Mahto is closely associated with the preparation of several model concession agreements for infrastructure projects. He also represents it in the Expenditure Finance Committee and Public Investment Board meetings which are held to approve public-funded schemes and projects. Besides, he represents NITI Aayog on the board of India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited.
Mahto has a master’s degree in economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University. During his free time he likes to watch cricket, football, badminton and tennis championships.