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PM's economic advisory council may be rejigged

September 25, 2019 14:44 IST

Among possible new members, former chief economic advisor Arvind Virmani’s name is doing the rounds. 

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with economists and experts on the theme 'Economic Policy -- The Road Ahead', in New Delhi in June. Photograph: ANI Photo.

The economic advisory council to the prime minister (EAC-PM) is likely to be reconstituted for another two years. A notification on this is expected in a day or so. 

ITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy may continue as the chairman of EAC-PM, while member-secretary Ratan Watal is also expected to carry on in the role. 

Among the other members of the advisory body, all of whom have been designated “part-time”, Shamika Ravi of Brookings Institution is also expected to continue. 

The other current members are Rathin Roy of National Institute of Public Finance and Policy and Ashima Goyal of Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research. It is unknown if they will be retained. 

 

Among possible new members, former chief economic advisor Arvind Virmani’s name is doing the rounds. 

The EAC-PM was revived in September 2017 with a term of two years. It replaced the erstwhile PMEAC, which was headed by former Reserve Bank of India governor C Rangarajan during the terms of former prime minister Manmohan Singh. 

The council was tasked with analysing any issue, economic or otherwise, referred to it by the PM, according to its terms of reference. The body could also take up the issues suo motu

It has submitted three-four papers to the Prime Minister’s Office, on issues like employment, fiscal situation, economic growth, manufacturing and infrastructure. None of its work has been made public. 

Its latest work, which is ongoing, is a taskforce on employment, it has submitted a brief to the PMO on what to do to alleviate growth slowdown, and hence create jobs. A more detailed report is expected to be submitted on the same. 

The members of the taskforce are Debroy, Roy, former EAC-PM member Surjit Bhalla, Watal, former chief statistician Pronab Sen, Virmani, and economist Charan Singh.

Arup Roychoudhury and Sanjeeb Mukherjee in New Delhi
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