As GDP growth falls, unemployment rises and the economy stagnates, Prime Minister Modi has reconstituted the PM’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC).
The PMEAC (archived website) is an independent body designed to guide the government on policy decisions.
It was disbanded in 2014 by the present government but has been brought back over increasing economic concerns.
This time, the PMEAC consists of the following members:
1) Bibek Debroy
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Bibek Debroy is an Indian economist. From March 2007 to January 2015, he was professor at Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He has also been Visiting Honorary Senior Research Fellow for Institute for South Asian Studies in National University of Singapore from May 2009 to 2014.
Since its conception in January 2015, Debroy has been a member of NITI Aayog. As the head of the panel on restructuring railways he brought out a final report seeking to appoint an independent regulator while doing away with Rail Budget altogether.
Debroy will be Chairman of the PMEAC.
2) Surjit Bhalla
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A well-known economist, Bhalla is the Chairman of Oxus Investments, a New Delhi-based economic research, asset management and emerging-markets advisory firm.
Bhalla has a PhD in Economics from Princeton University and has taught at the Delhi School of Economics. He has worked at the Rand Corporation, the Brookings Institution, World Bank, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. Bhalla is also on the governing board of India’s largest think tank, NCAER.
3) Ashima Goyal
Ashima Goyal is widely published in institutional and open economy macroeconomics, international finance and governance, with more than a hundred articles in national and international journals. She has also authored and edited a number of books, is active in the Indian policy debate and has served on several government committees, boards of educational and of financial institutions, including the RBI technical advisory committee for monetary policy.
Currently she is a Director at CARE Ratings, SBI Mutual Fund and IDBI Bank. She was a visiting fellow at the Economic Growth Centre, Yale University, USA, and a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow at Claremont Graduate University, USA. Her research has received national and international awards.
Goyal was selected as one of the four most powerful women in economics by Business Today (2008) and was the first Professor PR Brahmananda Memorial Research Grant Awardee for a study on History of Monetary Policy in India since Independence.
4) Ratan Watal
Ratan Watal is a former Finance Secretary, having served from August 2016 to April 2017. He currently serves as the Principal Advisor for social sector in NITI Aayog. Watal is a retired IAS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre.
5) Rathin Roy
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Rathin Roy is the Director of National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi, in the rank and pay of Secretary to the Government of India.
He holds a PhD and an MPhil in Economics from the University of Cambridge, an MA in Economics from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and BA (Hons) in Economics from St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi.
Roy has worked as an Economic Diplomat and Policy Advisor with the United Nations Development Program, with a particular focus on emerging economies. He has also worked as an investment banker and as an academic economist, with research on fiscal space, fiscal decentralisation, macro-fiscal policy, and the economics of institutions.
Roy is a Member, India Advisory Committee, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Inquiry into a Sustainable Financial System, Member on the Meta Council on Inclusive Growth, World Economic Forum, Geneva, and Member, Poverty Task Force, Government of India.
The government hopes that this advisory group, the reinstated PMEAC, will come up with ideas to stimulate the economy. Whether the government will implement any such ideas remains to be seen.
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