PM Modi's economic advisory council accepts slowdown; charts out roadmap for growth

Nitin Gadkari and Rajyavardhan Rathore

Zee conclave to discuss state of economy today

He added that "whenever the panel will take any view on monetary policy, it will discuss with the Reserve Bank of India".

Instead, at the council's first meeting on Wednesday, members listed 10 policy priorities for the government in the run-up to the presentation of 2018-19 budget. The Council has been set up with the approval of the Prime Minister recently under the Chairmanship of Bibek Debroy Member, NITI Aayog and is comprised of reputed economists and experts.

Principal Advisor of Niti Aayog, Ratan Watal, who is also the member secretary of the council, said the EAC will work closely with government agencies, stakeholders and financial institutions.

Commenting on International Monetary Fund projections, PMEAC member Rathin Roy said they are 80% wrong.

The Council, which met for the first time today, has identified ten themes, including economic growth and job creations, that need attention. "We will examine its causes which may be multiple", he said.

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

Noting that we can get data on unemployment and employment in India is through household surveys, he said the last NSSO household survey was out in 2011-12 and the next results of NSSO household surveys will not be available till 2018.

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The constitution of the EAC-PM came in the backdrop of growing concerns over the pace of growth in the economy and the slow pace of job creation.

The Council wants the government to stick to its fiscal consolidation road map and has suggested that stimulus to the industry should not be at the cost of fiscal prudence.

Sources said "accelerating economic growth and employment" appears to be a key issue on the table for the advisory group after the GDP growth registered a three-year low at the end of the first quarter of the current fiscal.

"The deliberations of the new Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister also reflect its value addition as an independent institutional mechanism to provide informed advice to the Prime Minister on addressing issues of macroeconomic importance related aspects".

The Council will have another formal meeting in November. We will also have smaller meetings with stakeholders...

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.

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