Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

PM Econnmic Council identifies 10 major issues to focus on

PM Econnmic Council identifies 10 major issues to focus on

Meanwhile, council's chairman and Niti Aayog member Bibek Debroy, on his part, refused to divulge "certain issues" which have been referred to it by the Prime Minister but added that there was consensus among members on aspects which have hampered growth.

"Whenever we will take any view on monetary policy, we will discuss with RBI..."

The council in its meeting identified 10 key themes around which it will structure its report in the coming months.

The areas flagged by the EAC-PM 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.

It was also agreed that specific issue papers will also be brought out by members to address key concerns and linkages will be established with key national institutions. 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.

The Council's primary role is to advise Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the macroeconomy, said Debroy.

"There is a consensus amongst us that there are various reasons that have contributed to slowdown of growth rate".

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The Council was set up with the approval of the Prime Minister last month and comprises reputed economists and experts.

Not only has the PMEAC revived the debate on fiscal stimulus, but also implicitly identified the likely priorities for next year's Union budget. Progress on these ten topics will be appraised when the EAC-PM formally meets again in November.

Rathin Roy dismissed lowering of India's growth projections by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, saying they often go "wrong".

The Chief Economic Advisor to Ministry of Finance, Arvind Subramanian was present also present at the first meeting along with other economists in the group.

If the government does not deviate from its target of reining in its fiscal deficit at 3.2 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), providing stimulus would be nearly impossible.

The industry is seeking fiscal stimulus to tide over the economic slowdown.

On the growing unemployment in the country, Debroy said any tangible and substantial argument on this can be made only if there is adequate data on employment and unemployment. This has prompted several agencies to lower India's growth forecast.

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