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Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council identifies 10 areas for focus
12 October 2017, 12:35 | Austin Hogan
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Responding to the slowdown in the Indian economy, the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (EAC) has identified 10 areas including monetary policy, fiscal framework, job creation, public expenditure and agriculture & animal husbandry for accelerating economic growth over the next six months.
The council was set up last month and comprises Bibek Debroy, Member NITI Aayog as the Chairman, Ratan P. Watal, Principal Adviser, NITI Aayog as Member Secretary and Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy and Ashima Goyal as part-time members.
Apart from giving recommendations to the Prime Minister on those issues, it would also focus on the next budget preparation over the next few months, Debroy told reporters here after the meeting.
The Coucil will be working closely with the Reserve Bank of India on monetary policy and fiscal framework.
Mr. Debroy said patterns of consumption and production and social sector are among other issues on which the council will work.
The Council will address all issues of emergent importance, will engage with a broad spectrum of stakeholders and formulate advice accordingly. The Council, which met for the first time on Wednesday, has identified ten themes, including economic growth and job creations, that need attention, while acknowledging the slowdown in the economy.
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The newly set-up Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) on Wednesday warned against deviating from the fiscal consolidation path.
"There is a consensus amongst us that there are various reasons that have contributed to slowdown of growth rate".
It also disagreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which drastically cut India's growth projections from 7.2 per cent to 6.7 per cent for FY18 after growth fell to a three-year low of 5.7 per cent in Q1 FY18.
On joblessness front, Debroy, however, said whether we like it or not we don't have good data on employment. Progress on these ten topics will be appraised when the EAC-PM formally meets again in November. "In a country like India, you can not get good data on employment and jobs from enterprise surveys".
The Council wants the government to stick to its fiscal consolidation road map and has suggested that stimulus to the industry should not be at the cost of fiscal prudence.
Not only has the PMEAC revived the debate on fiscal stimulus, but also implicitly identified the likely priorities for next year's Union budget. The country's GDP growth has been dipping consistently for several quarters.
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