NEW DELHI — Economist Lakshmi Kant Jha, who helped shape India's economic policy and was Indian ambassador to the United States, died Saturday in the city of Pune, the state radio reported. He was 74.
Jha, who had been Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's adviser on administrative reforms since July, 1985, died of cardiac arrest in a private hospital, the All India Radio said. He was also a member of the upper house of Parliament.
He had been suffering from kidney and lung ailments, his personal assistant, Harbans Lal, said.
President Ramaswami Venkataraman said in a message: "The nation has lost a man of outstanding qualities of head and heart and a deep dedication to the cause of the country's progress."
Jha served in several ministries after joining the Indian Civil Service in 1936. He was India's ambassador to the United States from 1970 to 1973.