Economic Advisory Council Identifies Cause Of Slowdown, Formulates 10 Priorities

Economic Advisory Council to PM Narendra Modi to meet for first time tomorrow

Economic Advisory Council Identifies Cause Of Slowdown, Formulates 10 Priorities

After a gap of three-years, the newly-formed Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) met on Wednesday for the first time and chose to complement the Reserve Bank of India on monetary policy ideas along with working on 10-point agenda including the economic growth, job creation, fiscal framework.

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 council has been set up with the approval of the prime minister on September 26, 2017.

The Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) has rejected the idea of mid-year fiscal stimulus to spur a revival in economic growth.

"There is a consensus among us about the various reasons that have contributed to the slowdown in the growth rate and the Council will provide specific recommendations that can be implemented in near term", the EAC-PM's chairman Bibek Debroy, Niti Aayog's member, told a press briefing after the meeting.

The chosen areas include economic growth, job creation, informal sector and integration, fiscal framework, monetary policy, public expenditure, institutions of economic governance, agriculture and animal husbandry, patterns of consumption and production, and social sector.

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

Leading economist Surjit Bhalla, also a member of the Council, added: "We freely admit that we need to accelerate economic growth".

The Council acknowledged the slowdown in the Indian economy and said that it will examine the causes.

"In a country like India, you can not get good data on employment and jobs from enterprise surveys".

The five-member Council was unanimous that the government shouldn't stray from the path of fiscal consolidation, thus ruling out a fiscal stimulus to reverse the downturn in the economy. The economic growth has slipped to a three-year low of 5.7 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal.

The majority view in the government is not inclined towards relaxing its fiscal deficit target of 3.2% of gross domestic product for the current financial year. International Monetary Fund and World Bank have both cut India's projected GDP for 2017.

With the constitution of the Council, the Government has set up a unique independent institutional mechanism.

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