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PM’s advisory council acknowledges slowdown

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PM’s advisory council acknowledges slowdown

Chairman Bibek Debroy, however, declines to share reasons

Accelerating growth and employment over the next six months would be the top priority of the recently reconstituted Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC), its chairman Bibek Debroy said on Wednesday, acknowledging the slowdown in the economy.

“There is consensus among us about the various reasons that have contributed to the slowdown,” Mr. Debroy said after the first meeting of the Council on Wednesday.

‘Only for the PM’

“However, we will not be sharing what these reasons are, other than to the PM,” said Mr. Debroy, who is also a member of the NITI Aayog.

The five-member Council was unanimous that the government shouldn’t stray from the path of fiscal consolidation, thus ruling out a fiscal stimulus to reverse the downturn in the economy. Mr. Debroy said the committee had reached a consensus on the fiscal consolidation policy being followed by the government.

The Council would initially focus on 10 themes. “…The committee has identified major priorities for accelerating economic growth over the next six months,” Council member Surjit Bhalla said.

The priority areas include economic growth, employment and job creation, informal sector and integration, fiscal framework, monetary policy, public expenditure, institutions of economic governance, agriculture and animal husbandry, patterns of consumption and production, and the social sector.

Stressing that there is no good data regarding jobs, employment and unemployment, Mr. Debroy said the only good way to obtain satisfactory jobs data is through household surveys and that the previous National Sample Survey was released in 2011, and the next one will release data only in 2018.

“Whatever we do will be in consultation with the relevant body, but it is always possible to have a complementary view that supplements what the Reserve Bank of India is doing,” Mr. Debroy said.

Source: The Hindu


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