EAC – PM identifies 10 areas for growth and employment

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Dr Surjit Bhalla, Dr. Bibek Debroy, EAC-PM, Economic Advisory Council, Niti Aayog, part-time Member; and Ratan Watal, part-time Member; Dr. Ashima Goyal, part-time Member; Dr. Rathin Roy, Terms of reference

The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) has identified 10 areas for accelerating growth over the next six months. Monetary policy, job creation, public expenditure, agriculture and animal husbandry top the focus areas. The Council will keep in mind the forthcoming Union Budget while recommending measures. It will meet again in November.

At the EAC’s first formal meeting on October 11, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian made a presentation on boosting economic growth using a combination of policy levers.

Addressing a presser after the meeting, EAC Chairman Bibek Debroy, who is also a Member of the NITI Aayog, said the council is focused on critical interventions related to accelerating economic growth and employment, with greater social and financial inclusion, based on a rigorous economic analysis.

He added “There is a consensus amongst us (members of the EAC) that various reasons have contributed to the slowdown of growth rate. Our entire thrust would be on implementable decisions. Our views on the ten identified areas would be on specific things that you can change tomorrow.”

Debroy disclosed that the council will again meet in November to discuss “critical issues”, with next year’s budget in mind. “Next few months our focus will be on the preparation of the budget,” he said.

Debroy said that the five members of the EAC will take the responsibility of monitoring the ten actionable areas, which have, however, not been prioritized, yet. Other members of the EAC include economists Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy, Ashima Goyal, and Member-Secretary Ratan P Watal. Progress would be discussed at the next meeting of the EAC, in November.

Responding to a question, Debroy said the recommendations made by the council will be in “collaboration and consultation” with existing government bodies. “Whenever we will take any view on monetary policy, we will discuss with RBI…It is not our job to push those recommendations to the finance ministry, our job is to report to the prime minister,” he said.

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