The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister has identified 10 key areas, including economic growth and accelerating employment, to immediately begin work on, NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy told reporters after the council met for the first time on Wednesday.
Debroy said the council will again meet in November to discuss “critical issues”, with next year’s budget in mind. “Next few months our focus will be on the preparation of the budget,” he said.
Responding to a question, Debroy said the recommendations made by the council will be in “collaboration and consultation” with existing government bodies. “Whenever we will take any view on monetary policy, we will discuss with RBI…It is not our job to push those recommendations to the finance ministry, our job is to report to the prime minister,” he said.
He said the council is focused on critical interventions related to accelerating economic growth and employment, with greater social and financial inclusion, based on rigorous economic analysis.
On the role of the EAC, Debroy said: “It’s role is to advice to the pm, it’s primarily role and only role is to have recommendations to the prime minsiter. They are not meant to be announced in interactions with the media.”
Principal Advisor of NITI Aayog, Ratan Watal, said the EAC will work closely with government agencies, stakeholders and financial institutions. “We will be using the resources of NITI in helping us moving forward,” he said.
Earlier, Chief Economic Advisor to Ministry of Finance, Arvind Subramanian gave a presentation to the council on the state of the country’s economy.
Others members in the group include economists Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy and Ashima Goyal (part-time members).