EAC-PM Revamp

The government has reconstituted the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister by inducting Sajjid Chinoy and dropping Rathin Roy and Shamika Ravi.

Chinoy, an India economist at JP Morgan, has been appointed as a part-time member.

“Bibek Debroy and Ratan P Watal will continue to be the chairman and member-secretary, respectively, of the reconstituted EAC-PM,” an official statement said.

Roy had recently raised questions over government’s decision on overseas sovereign borrowing. He also demanded a white paper from the government on its medium-term fiscal framework, arguing that it would will be difficult to meet the budgetary targets. Ravi, too, had remarked that the government could have done much more on the economic reforms, especially on liberalisation. She said that she had little faith in the government to run business.

Ashima Goel continues to be one of the part-time members, the statement said. The revamped Council will have a term of two years effective from September 26.

The EAC-PM is an independent body to advise the government, especially the prime minister, on economic and policy-related matters. It was set up in September 2017 with a term of two years, replacing the erstwhile PMEAC, which was headed by former RBI governor C Rangarajan during the terms of former prime minister Manmohan Singh.

The Council was tasked to analyse any issue, economic or otherwise, referred to it by the PM, according to its terms of reference. It could also take up issues suo moto.

It has submitted three-four papers to the PMO on issues like employment, fiscal situation, economic growth, manufacturing and infrastructure but none of these has been made public. The Council’s latest work, which is ongoing, is a taskforce on employment. It has submitted a brief to the PMO on what to do to alleviate the slowdown and create jobs. A more detailed report is expected to be submitted. The taskforce included Debroy, Roy, former EAC-PM member Surjit Bhalla, Watal, former chief statistician Pronab Sen, Virmani and economist Charan Singh.

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