PM's Economic Advisory Council identifies 10 areas to accelerate growth

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The 10 themes were identified during the first meeting of the Council on Wednesday chaired by NITI Aayog Member Bibek Debroy.

The Council said that it can consult the Reserve Bank of India on issues like better transmission of policy rates and complement its monetray policy ideas.

A detailed report structured around these 10 aspects of Indian economy will be tabled before PM Modi after being finalised on the basis of consultations from relevant ministries and departments, stated EAC Chairman Bibek Debroy while addressing a press briefing after the meeting.

These are economic growth, fiscal framework, employment and job creation, monetary framework, public expenditure, institutions of economic governance, agriculture and animal husbandry, informal sector and its integration with formal sector.

On Tuesday, the government has said in a statement that the council members will address "all issues of emergent importance and will engage with a broad spectrum of stakeholders". Other members on the panel include economists Ashima Goyal, Surjit Bhalla and Rathin Roy.

The Council is mandated to analyse all critical issues, economic or otherwise referred to it by the Prime Minister and advising him thereon.

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Debroy said there was a consensus amongst the members of the PMEAC that the economy had slowed down but declined to comment whether demonetisation or GST were the reasons behind it.

There have been concerns about the state of the economy ever since the government data showed GDP growth in the first quarter of the current fiscal plummeting to a three-year low of 5.7 per cent, from 7.9 per cent in April-June 2016 and 6.1 per cent of January-March 2017. While constituting the EAC last month, the government said the Council can up issues "either suo-motu or on reference from the Prime Minister or anyone else".

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.

The council also assessed that the government needs to provide some sort of fiscal stimulus to revive economic growth.

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.

"IMF's growth projections are 80 per cent wrong.World Bank's growth projections are 65 per cent wrong", he said in a media interaction when asked to comment on lowering of growth projections by global multilateral lending agencies.

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