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Stick to fiscal consolidation road map: EAC-PM to govt

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The newly constituted Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) wants the government to stick to its fiscal consolidation road map and has suggested that stimulus to the industry should not be at the cost of fiscal prudence.

The Council, which met for the first time yesterday, has identified ten themes, including economic growth and job creations, that need attention.
Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian gave a presentation to the council on ways to accelerate economic growth, including investments and exports by using a combination of different policy levers.

"We will come out with implementable solutions for economic problems and present them to the Prime Minister," council's chairman Bibek Debroy told reporters after the meeting.

When asked whether the government can breach fiscal deficit to provide stimulus to the industry, Debroy said," There is a consensus (among the members)... That the fiscal consolidation exercise should not be deviated."

The industry is seeking fiscal stimulus to tide over the economic slowdown. The economic growth has slipped to a three-year low of 5.7% in the first quarter of the current fiscal.

The government pegged the fiscal deficit target at 3.2% for the current fiscal and 3% for the next financial year.

The council has been set up with the approval of the prime minister on September 26, 2017. Its members are Principal Adviser to NITI Aayog Ratan P Watal as member secretary and Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy and Ashima Goyal as part-time members.

Debroy further said the council will have another formal meeting in November.

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