NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy, who heads the five-member Economic Advisory Council (EAC), on Tuesday said enhancement of productivity was important for a country to increase its national income. “National income of any country is the productivity of its citizens in the working age group. There are different sources of growth and national income. Growth can come either through increase in land etc. But it is limited. Enhancement in productivity thus becomes important,” Debroy said at the Internet of Things Summit 2017 organised here by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). He said that internet of things (IoT) holds promise of being inclusive as it enables the relatively poor to access various opportunities that it brings. “It helps bridge asymmetry in formation.”
Debroy heads the five-member EAC that was constituted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 25 after the Indian economy growth during the first quarter of this fiscal fell to 5.7 per cent, the lowest GDP growth rate under Modi dispensation. When asked, on the sidelines of the event, what was on the immediate agenda of the council, Debroy said the EAC would brief the media on the same on Wednesday. According to reports, the EAC is scheduled to have its first meeting on Wednesday. The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) is entrusted with analysing economic issues, addressing issues of macroeconomic importance and advising the Prime Minister on them. This could be either suo-motu or on reference from the Prime Minister or anyone else.
Ratan Watal, Principal Advisor, NITI Aayog, is the member-secretary of the EAC-PM. Other part-time members of the council are Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Ray and Ashima Goyal. The EAC-PM has been constituted several times since independence. The last chairman of the council, former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor C. Rangarajan, resigned in May 2014 after the defeat of the Congress-led UPA regime in the general elections. According to data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), India’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter at Rs 31.10 lakh crore grew 5.7 per cent over the same quarter last year. During the previous quarter, the GDP had grown by 6.1 per cent.
The principal reason for the decline in growth is a fall in the manufacturing sector, where the Gross Value Added (GVA) fell sharply to 1.2 per cent, from 10.7 per cent a year ago. The major reason for slowdown in growth at 5.7 per cent is on account of manufacturing, where the GVA is largely contributed by the private sector. In all, 74 per cent of the GVA comes from the corporate sector. However, Chief Statistician T.C.A. Anant had earlier said that there was a likely revival in the growth from the second quarter onwards.