Govt expands PM's Economic Advisory Council; appoints 3 part-time members

PM Narendra Modi
Less than a month after reconstituting the Economic Advisory to the Prime Minister, the centre has added three more part-time members to the advisory body – Neelkanth Mishra, Nilesh Shah and Anantha Nageswaran.

Mishra is the India Equity Strategist for Credit Suisse, Shah is the Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Asset Management, and Nageswaran is the Dean of IFMR Graduate School of Business. Since they are part-time members, they may not have to take leave from their current posts.

The new appointments were announced through a notification by the Cabinet Secretariat on Wednesday.

Late last month, the centre had reconstituted the EAC-PM for a period of another two years. Rathin Roy from the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy and Shamika Ravi of Brookings Institution were dropped as part-time members. Sajjid Chenoy, India economist at JP Morgan was the new part-time member announced at that time.

Part-time member Ashima Goyal of Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research and full-time members Bibek Debroy of NITI Aayog and Ratan Watal are continuing to be part of the EAC-PM. Debroy retains his role as chairman of the EAC-PM, while former Finance Secretary Watal will continue being the member-secretary.

After the latest additions, the strength of the EAC-PM has gone up to seven, with two full-time members and five part-time members, from five full-and part-time members total in the body’s earlier term.

The EAC-PM was revived in September 2017 with a term of two years. It replaced the erstwhile PMEAC which was headed by former Reserve Bank of India governor C Rangarajan during the terms of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

The council was tasked with analyzing any issue, economic or otherwise, referred to it by the PM, according to its terms of reference. The body could also take up the issues suo motu. It has submitted around three-four papers to the Prime Minister’s office, on issues like employment, fiscal situation, economic growth, manufacturing and infrastructure. None of its work has been made public.

Its latest work, still ongoing, is a task force on employment, it has submitted a brief to the PMO on what to do to alleviate growth slowdown, and hence create jobs. A more detailed report is expected to be submitted on the same.