After the economy is showing signs of distress, the government has created an Economic Advisory Council to prepare a roadmap for the country’s economic growth. The advisory will be a five-member panel of economists and it will be headed by NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy. Other members in the advisory include NITI Aayog’s Principal Advisor Ratan Watal, who will serve as the permanent member. Part-time members of the advisory include economists Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy and Ashima Goyal. The advisory will analyze various economic and other issues and offer suggestions and solutions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The advisory will evaluate various issues of macroeconomic importance and provide their inputs to the Prime Minister.
The move to create an economic advisory comes in the wake of a weakening economy. The GDP growth in the last quarter dropped to 5.7 percent and there is possibility of further reduction in the next quarters. Already, analysts are revising their GDP estimates for the country for the fiscal year ending March 2018. An economic downturn can work against the government in the crucial 2019 general elections. The fall in GDP is very perplexing since macroeconomic indicators are quite strong. Oil prices are stable, the monsoons have been good, there is growth in global economy, foreign exchange reserves are rising, FDI is increasing, and government revenues are looking strong. Even with all these positive factors, the GDP has fallen, which is worrying and intriguing.