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PM Modi’s economic advisors to meet for the first time today

The PM’s Economic Advisory Council will address all issues of emergent importance, will engage with a broad spectrum of stakeholders and formulate advice accordingly, the statement said.

india Updated: Oct 11, 2017 12:41 IST
Suchetana Ray
Suchetana Ray
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Narendra Modi,Prime Minister of India,Economic Advisory Council
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Golden Jubilee Year celebrations of Institute of Company Secretaries of India at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on October 4, 2017. (Arun Sharma/HT Photo)

The newly-constituted economic advisory council to Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet on Wednesday for the first time amid expectations that the government is planning to bring in booster doses for reviving an ailing economy.

The five-member panel is headed by economist and NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy and includes the Aayog’s principal adviser Ratan Watal as its member and economists Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy, and Ashima Goyal as part-time members.

Read more: Meet the five members of PM Narendra Modi’s Economic Advisory Council

The council’s main duty is to analyse and advice the Prime Miniter on economic issues referred to it. It will also have to address macroeconomic issues and take on tasks referred to it by the Prime Minister.

While growth slipped, doubts are being raised over revenue as Goods and Services Tax (GST) is expected to impact collections, leaving very little elbow-room for the government to dole out sector-specific stimulus packages or push up growth with higher capital expenditure.

The government wants to raise its capital expenditure beyond the budgeted Rs 3.10 lakh crore but is cautious that it does not breach its fiscal deficit target. It has already met 92% of its fiscal deficit estimate of Rs 5.46 lakh crore for 2017-18. Compounding the problem is the reluctance of private investment to pick up.

Several ministries of the government have already been in multiple huddles to look for ways to rev-up the economy. But now the responsibility seems to rest on the economic advisory council.

The council’s meeting on Wednesday was preceded by a brainstorming session last week.

In addition to this council, Modi has also met and tasked India Inc for suggesting ways to kickstart growth. These industrialists have been divided into groups and given focus areas such as infrastructure, digital India etc, to work on.

First Published: Oct 11, 2017 07:45 IST