The government of India on Wednesday reconstituted the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) for a period of two years with effect from 26 September (today). Dr. Bibek Debroy and Ratan P Watal will continue to be the Chairman and Member Secretary, respectively. The two biggest casualties of the new EAC-PM are National Institute of Public Finance and Policy member Rathin Roy and Brookings Institution member Shamika Ravi. Both had raised concerns on the government’s fiscal policies and the health of the Indian economy in the recent time.
As exclusively reported by Janta Ka Reporter, Ravi had recently blamed former Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s decision to tax business retrospectively and the Supreme Court’s cancelling of coal blocks since 1993 for the downturn in the Indian economy today. Shamika Ravi had said that these two key decisions started the Indian economy on the downward journey.
In August, Ravi had also said that other ministries of the Modi government needed to follow ‘a national growth strategy with time-bound goals.’ She had tweeted, “We are faced with a structural slowdown. Urgently need to follow a #NationalGrowthStrategy with time bound goals for many ministries. Need major reforms, not mere tinkering. Leaving economy to the finance ministry is like leaving the growth of a firm to its accounts department.”
We are faced with a structural slowdown. Urgently need to follow a #NationalGrowthStrategy with time bound goals for many ministries. Need major reforms, not mere tinkering. Leaving economy to the finance ministry is like leaving the growth of a firm to its accounts department. https://t.co/1S2AcgBLr8
— Shamika Ravi (@ShamikaRavi) August 22, 2019
Earlier this month, when noted lawyer Harish Salve blamed the Supreme Court for the current economic slowdown, Ravi had once again agreed with him.
Roy too has been a vocal critic of the monetary policy of the government. “I have been concerned about some macro-solutions proposed to address the slowdown. Calls for fiscal stimulus are misplaced and would, without much sustained benefit, jeopardise the hard-earned macroeconomic stability attained since 2014. Monetary and credit policy transmission needs fixing, not further rate cuts. Using speculative foreign money for sovereign spending would raise risk without ameliorating the credit and liquidity situation,” he had said in an article for Business Standard.
The newly constituted EAC-PM will also have will two part-time members. While Dr. Ashima Goel will continue to be one of the part-time members, Dr. Sajjid Chinoy has been made as another part-time member.