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Developing a road map for accelerating employment generation will be high on the priority list of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) which will meet for the first time Wednesday. Sources said “accelerating economic growth and employment” appears to be a key issue on the table for the advisory group, constituted on September 25 after the GDP growth registered a three-year low at the end of the first quarter of the current fiscal.
Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor to Ministry of Finance, is slated to present the state of the economy at the first meeting of the EAC-PM chaired by NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy. Others in the group are economists Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy, Ashima Goyal (part-time members) and Ratan Watal, Principal Advisor, NITI Aayog (member-secretary).
Sources indicated that envisaged interventions for accelerating economic growth and employment are likely to figure high during the presentation on the state of the economy.
The advisory group is also likely to discuss evolving an ‘economy tracking monitor’ mechanism to inform formulation of advice from the EAC-PM. The proposed monitor mechanism is likely to be firmed within a fixed timeframe of a few months to help move ahead with focus on broad groups of areas that will need policy intervention.
Sources said although the EAC-PM is unlikely to formulate any immediate advice to the Prime Minister after its first meeting, it will identify a handful of broad groups — skills, trade and commerce, digital economy and innovation ecosystem, infrastructure, and agriculture, among others — for effective policy intervention advice.
Since it will be the first meeting, the EAC-PM is also likely to formulate a framework to engage with key stakeholders, institutions and growth drivers in a time-bound manner. It is likely to consider holding stakeholder meetings as well as meetings with clusters of states or ministries for an effective, coordinated approach to further the objective of accelerating employment generation.
A press release issued by the government Tuesday said the EAC-PM held a “brainstorming session with stakeholders” on Monday in the run-up to the Wednesday meeting.
The constitution of this advisory body last month came after a gap of three years — the previous similar body exited with the UPA regime. An official release listed the terms of reference of the EAC: To analyse any issue, economic or otherwise, referred to it by the Prime Minister and advising him thereon; to address issues of macroeconomic importance and presenting views thereon to the Prime Minister. This could be either suo-motu or on reference from the Prime Minister or anyone else; and, to attend to any other task as may be desired by the Prime Minister from time to time.