EAC-PM reconstituted for two years; NITI Aayog’s Bibek Debroy to lead
The government on Wednesday declared reconstitution of Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) for a period of two years. The council will have two part-time members apart from the two full-time members and the same will come into effect from today.
Dr Bibek Debroy of NITI Aayog and former finance secretary Ratan P Watal will continue to be the chairman and member secretary, respectively. Ashima Goyal from Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research will be retained as a part-time member and joined by Sajjid Chenoy who is presently JP Morgan’s chief India economist.
However, Rathin Roy from the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy and Shamika Ravi of Brookings Institution, who were earlier a part of the team, have been dropped as part-time members and no reason was behind the decision. It is assumed that Roy who is also a columnist had spoken of a ‘silent fiscal crisis’ criticising the difference between the 2018-19 revised tax revenue estimates and provisional actuals. He also criticised the Centre’s plan to issue overseas sovereign bonds and advised caution on the same.
Ravi has also warned about the state of the economy, saying the country is facing a structural slowdown and had recently stated on her microblogging handle last month that dealing with the slowdown needed major reforms and not mere tinkering. Both economists, who are active on Twitter, have not yet commented on their departure.
The EAC-PM was last revived in September 2017 replacing the erstwhile PM-EAC headed by former Reserve Bank of India governor C Rangarajan during the terms of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.