The recently constituted Economic Advisory Committee to Prime Minister (EAC-PM) held its first meeting in the national capital under the Chairmanship of economist and NITI Aayog member, Bibek Debroy. The EAC identified ten key areas to initially work on. They would prepare detailed papers on these 10 key areas, which include accelerating economic growth, job creation and fiscal framework, informed Debroy. "We picked 10 issues that we'll initially work on," EAC chairman Bibek Debroy told reporters after the first meeting of the council. Here are the ten priority areas that the Council identified, according to Debroy: 1) Economic growth 2) Employment 3) Informal sector 4) Fiscal policy 5) Monetary policy 6) Public expenditure 7) Economic governance 8) Agriculture 9) Consumption 10) Social sector The government is considering ways to revive the economy after growth fell to its slowest pace in three years in the three months to June. Debroy said that the council will have several informal stakeholders meetings on economic issues. He said that the EAC-PM would meet again in November to discuss critical issues for next year's budget, which would be its focus over the next few months.
NITI Aayog (@NITIAayog) October 11, 2017 The EAC-PM will bring technical, professional inputs to policy making, he said.
Replying to a question, Debroy said that EAC-PM will take inputs from RBI and the Monetary Policy Committee while considering issues related to monetary policy framework but would not push its recommendations to the Finance Ministry as their role is to report to the Prime Minister.“It’s role is to give advice to the PM, it’s primarily role and only role is to have recommendations to the Prime Minsiter. They are not meant to be announced in interactions with the media," said Debroy. He said, that they will give specific implementable recommendations to the PM. Commenting on IMF lowering India's growth forecast to 6.7%, he said that many times IMF projections had been found to be untrue in the Indian context. On slowing GDP growth rate, the EAC-PM chairman, said that there is consensus on growth slowdown and the council will examine the causes and come up with solutions. He felt that fiscal consolidation path shouldn't be deviated from. On the issue of employment, Debroy said that the country doesn't have adequate data on employment and unemployment and that the panel will form a view on it soon. Earlier, CEA Arvind Subramanian gave a presentation on the state of the economy to the council. Other members of the EAC include Rathin Roy, Surjit Bhalla and Ashima Goyal.