The Narendra Modi government on Monday constituted a five-member Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) headed by NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy to advise the PM on economic issues, ending a three-year suspense about the body. Other economist members of the five-member PMEAC include Oxus Research and Investments managing director Surjit Bhalla, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy director Rathin Roy and Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research professor Ashima Goyal. NITI Aayog principal adviser and former finance secretary Ratan Watal will be member secretary.
Terms of reference of the EAC would be to analyse any issue, economic or otherwise; to address issues of macroeconomic importance and presenting views thereon; to attend to any other task as maybe desired by the PM from time to time. The constitution of the body against a slowdown in economic growth assumes importance. India’s economic growth plunged to a 13-quarter low of 5.7% in the April-June quarter this year. This prompted top government ministers and officials to brainstorm and devise ways to revive economic growth.
Chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian has said that the economy was facing challenges on multiple fronts and required a measured response across the board.After the Modi government, which assumed power in May 2014, did not constitute the body, there were doubts whether it will be constituted or not. The body was a constant guide to the previous regime led by Manmohan Singh of the Congress.