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Surjit Bhalla quits as member of PM’s Economic Advisory Council

The EAC is a think-tank like body which advises the prime minister on crucial issues. Economists Rathin Roy, Ashima Goyal and Shamika Ravi are other part-time members.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
December 12, 2018 2:52:50 am
fiscal deficit target, GDP, bank reform, PM Modi, Modi advisor, business news, indian express news Economist and famed columnist Surjit Bhalla resigned on December 1 from EAC-PM. (File photo)

Economist Surjit S. Bhalla has resigned from his position as the part-time Member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister. Government sources said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accepted Bhalla’s resignation which takes effect from December 1. The Council is headed by NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy. Other part-time members on the Council include economists Rathin Roy, Ashima Goyal and former bureaucrat Ratan Watal.

Bhalla, a Contributing Editor with The Indian Express, has been critical of the Reserve Bank of India keeping interest rates elevated and overestimating inflation expectations.

READ: No Proof Required: Revolution of rising expectations

In his column on December 1 on the recently released back series data on Gross Domestic Product, Bhalla, wrote: “I, along with others, also found it inappropriate for NITI Aayog to be directly involved in the presentation of statistical data by the CSO (Central Statistics Office).”

The data was released by the NITI Aayog and the CSO in a joint press conference on November 28, in which the government revised down the GDP growth rates for the 2006-2012 period. The new data showed that growth during the NDA government was higher than in the UPA period. Many economists criticised presence of NITI Aayog, which is chaired by Prime Minister, in the process of release of the GDP numbers. They argued that calculation of GDP back series being a technical exercise should have best left to the CSO.

It isn’t immediately clear why Bhalla resigned from the EAC PM.

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First published on: 12-12-2018 at 02:52:50 am

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