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10-bore silver bullet for eco
With the reports of country’s economy slowing down and shortage of jobs being a bone of contention, the newly-constituted Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) on Wednesday identified ten major priority areas, including accelerating economic growth and generating job opportunities over the next six months, to address the issues.
The Council, headed by NITI Aayog Member Bibek Debroy, in its debut meeting on Wednesday said, “There is a consensus among us about the various reasons that have contributed to the slowdown in the growth rate.”
The Council’s primary role is to advise Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the macroeconomy, said Debroy.
These ten themes picked by the Council are economic growth, employment and job creation, informal sector and integration, fiscal framework, monetary policy, public expenditure, institutions of economic governance, agriculture and animal husbandry, patterns of consumption and production and social sector.
In a bid to allay fears on slowing economic growth, the Council also dismissed lowering of India’s growth projections by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
The Council, however, 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.
Noted economist and member of the PMEAC
Rathin Roy said, “The IMF’s growth projections are 80 per cent wrong. World Bank’s growth projections are 65 per cent wrong.”
The IMF on Tuesday lowered India’s growth forecast for the current fiscal by 0.5 percentage points to 6.7 per cent, while the World Bank on Wednesday pegged India’s economic expansion at 7 per cent, down from 7.2 per cent projected earlier.
Besides, Asian Development Bank (ADB) too lowered the country’s current fiscal growth to 7 per cent from 7.4 per cent, while the RBI cut economic growth forecast to 6.7 per cent from earlier projection of 7.3 per cent.
The Council was set up in September and comprises Bibek Debroy, Member NITI Aayog as the Chairman, Ratan P Watal, Principal Adviser, NITI Aayog as Member Secretary and Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy and Ashima Goyal as part-time members.
India’s economic health deteriorated due to the growth data which slipped to a three-year low of 5.7 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal. In order to revive an upward growth in the next few months, the Council will focus towards the budget that is likely to be presented in the next 3-4 months. “We will come up with a doable solution, keeping in mind next year’s budget,” one of the council members said.
On joblessness front, Debroy, however, said whether we like it or not we don’t have good data on employment. “In a country like India, you cannot get good data on employment and jobs from enterprise surveys. The labour bureau enterprise surveys covers less than 1.5 per cent of total employment,” he said.
“We can get data on unemployment and employment in India is through household surveys. The last National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) household survey was out in 2011-12 and the next results of NSSO household surveys will not be available till 2018.”
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