PM Modi's economic council asks govt to stick to fiscal consolidation


PM Modi's economic council asks govt to stick to fiscal consolidation

Debroy said the Council will work in consultation with various stakeholders, including sectoral ministries, states, experts, institutions, regulators and the private sector.

"The recommendations of the five member council would be structured around these themes", the official statement said.

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.

Bibek Debroy, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) with members during a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday. Principal Adviser of NITI Aayog Ratan P Watal will be the council'a member secretary and Dr Surjit Bhalla, Dr Rathin Roy and Dr Ashima Goyal its part-time members. These are economic growth, employment and job creation, informal sector and integration, fiscal framework, monetary policy, public expenditure, Institution of economic governance, agriculture and animal husbandry, patters of consumption and Production and social sector.

The EAC-PM chairman said, "We have identified 10 themes that we would initially work on till we have our next meeting one month from now".

Arvind Subramanian focused attention on accelerating economic growth, including investments and exports-using a combination of different policy levers.

Council member Rathin Roy added that there was consensus that there is a slowdown.

Noting urban unemployment is at a 11 year low, the Congress leader said consumer confidence too was at a three year low.

Due to the temporary disruption in economic activity caused by last November's demonetization exercise and the rollout of GST in July, economic growth slowed to 5.7% in the April-June period of 2017-18, the slowest pace in three years, from 6.1% in the preceding three months. The government pegged the fiscal deficit target at 3.2 per cent for the current fiscal and 3 per cent for the next financial year. The meeting of the EAC-PM chaired by NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy, concluded that the role of EAC is only to make recommendations to the Prime Minister, but said it can complement the RBI on monetary policy ideas and consult the central bank on the same.

With the constitution of the Council, the Government has set up a unique independent institutional mechanism.