Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday formed an Economic Advisory Council in a bid to bring in reforms to the Indian financial system. Economist Dr Bibek Debroy will head the panel.
Debroy is also a member of the Niti Aayog and a former professor at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi. Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy, Ashima Goyal and Ratan Watal are the other members of the council.
The decision to form the council comes amid widespread criticism of the government’s Goods and Services Tax regime and the demonetisation drive from November 2016, both of which have been blamed for dragging India’s GDP growth down to 5.7% in the first quarter of 2017 from 7.9% in the corresponding period last year.
The government under the United Progressive Alliance also had a similar council that was headed by economist Dr C Rangarajan. The council works primarily with the prime minister and to advise him about economic policy and developments in the sector.
The move was announced hours after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s national executive meeting. On September 20, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government was considering ways to revive the economy. “We have taken note of all economic indicators available,” he had said after a Cabinet meeting.