Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council identifies 10 areas for focus

Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council identifies 10 areas for focus

"Whenever we will take any view on monetary policy, we will discuss with the Reserve Bank of India", said Bibek Debroy, chairman of the council.

A government statement before the EAC meeting said it will address "all issues of emergent importance and will engage with a broad spectrum of stakeholders".

The panel also recognised the need for instituting an Economy Track Monitor, using lead indicators and triggers for action that would be based on informed assessment and analysis. While constituting the EAC last month, the government said the Council can up issues "either suo-motu or on reference from the Prime Minister or anyone else". The council will also analyse and advise the Prime Minister on any issue, economic or otherwise, referred by him.

"Government's fiscal consolidation exercise should not be deviated from", said Debroy, adding to an ongoing debate in the government for a mid-term fiscal package. These include economic growth, job creation, fiscal framework, monetary framework, social sector, the institution of economic governance among others.

The meeting was held in the backdrop of a slowing economy and tepid job creation.

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Arvind Subramanian focused attention on accelerating economic growth, including investments and exports-using a combination of different policy levers. Its members are Principal Adviser to NITI Aayog Ratan P Watal as member secretary and Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy and Ashima Goyal as part-time members.

The EAC-PM chairman said, "We have identified 10 themes that we would initially work on till we have our next meeting one month from now".

There have been concerns about the state of the economy ever since the government data showed GDP growth in the first quarter of the current fiscal plummeting to a three-year low of 5.7 per cent, from 7.9 per cent in April-June 2016 and 6.1 per cent of January-March 2017.

The advisory council says in the next few months the focus will be on the next budget preparation and give recommendations to the Prime Minister after consultations with other ministries.

The statement noted that the deliberations of the new EAC-PM also reflect its value addition as an independent institution mechanism to provide informed advice to the prime minister on addressing issues of macroeconomic importance.

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