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Newly constituted Economic Advisory Council to PM holds 1st meeting

11 October 2017

Debroy said the council will have informal meetings and next meeting is slated for November.

According to the statement, another key issue recognised is the need for effective tracking of key economic parameters, through possible mechanisms for instituting and economy track monitor, using lead indicators and triggers of action, based on informal assessment and analysis. The five member committee comprising of reputed economists and experts was constituted by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 26th of last month to halt the downhill movement of the Indian economy.

The Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) has rejected the idea of mid-year fiscal stimulus to spur a revival in economic growth.

In the run-up to the meeting, the council chaired by NITI Aayog Member Bibek Debroy had held a brainstorming session with several stakeholders on Monday.

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Briefing reporters after the meeting, chairperson Bibek Debroy said the PMEAC would assist in monitoring public spending and had recommended job creation as the biggest priority.

Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Arvind Subramanian made a presentation to the Council and focused attention on accelerating economic growth, including investments and exports, using a combination of different policy levers.

Commenting on International Monetary Fund projections, PMEAC member Rathin Roy said they are 80% wrong. In the quarter April to June 2017, the GDP growth fell to 5.7 per cent from 7.9 per cent in the corresponding period a year ago. "Whether we like it or not, we don't have good data on employment and jobs", he said.

The Council's focus for the next few months will be on the Union Budget, Surjeet Bhalla, one of the members of PMEAC said.

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The majority view in the government is not inclined towards relaxing its fiscal deficit target of 3.2% of gross domestic product for the current financial year.

The Asian Development Bank too lowered India's current fiscal growth to 7 percent from 7.4 percent, while RBI cut economic growth forecast to 6.7 percent from earlier projection of 7.3 percent.

The statement noted that the deliberations of the new EAC-PM also reflect its value addition as an independent institution mechanism to provide informed advice to the prime minister on addressing issues of macroeconomic importance.

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Newly constituted Economic Advisory Council to PM holds 1st meeting