PM's Economic Advisory Council to hold first meeting today

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The Economic Advisory Council for Prime Minister (EAC-PM) on its first meeting on Wednesday confirmed that they have reached a consensus over the reason behind the economic slowdown but refused to identify it.

He added that "whenever the panel will take any view on monetary policy, it will discuss with the Reserve Bank of India".

Addressing their first press conference post the formation of the council, Chairman Bibek Debroy highlighted that major priorities were identified for accelerating economic growth and employment over the next six months, with greater last mile connectivity.

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The 10 themes identified include 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. "We will also have smaller meetings with stakeholders.We will also have another formal meeting next month and give recommendations to the prime minister", he said.

"The role of the EAC is to make recommendations to the Prime Minister". The economic growth has slipped to a three-year low of 5.7 percent in the first quarter of the current fiscal.

Debroy said it will be an "exercise of teamwork", and that the council would give "professional inputs into the policy making process".

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The EAC-PM also agreed on the need for effective tracking of key economic parameters, through possible mechanisms for instituting an Economy Track Monitor, using lead indicators and triggers for action, based on informed assessment and analysis.

The Council acknowledged the slowdown in the Indian economy and said that it will examine the causes.

The Congress said the PM's move to set up his economic advisory council after three and a half years of coming to power was a step too little and too late as the economy was already in a downward spiral. Surjit Bhalla said the council's next focus will be on the Budget.

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