New Delhi: The Indian economy is facing a continuous slowdown, and the Prime Minister and his Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) are of the view that the government needs to form a ‘GST Council-like’ body to strategise expenditure and have maximum impact.
Various suggestions have been made to curb the decline in economic activity that has lasted more than a few months.
Speaking to Indian Express, Economic Advisory Council Chairman Bibek Debroy said that the question that needs to be in focus is whether India is “7% GDP growth rate trend, or a 6% trend”, and if so, “was 5.8 per cent in the last quarter a blip?” he asked.
Highlighting the global uncertainty in terms of economy, he added that given “all that is happening in the external world, even the 6 per cent is not dismal. It’s not enough, we need to grow faster.”
Pointing out the success of the GST Council body for decisions about indirect taxes, Debroy said that in order to increase the efficiency of the overall public expenditure, there needs to be a decision-making body that would keep a check on the expenditure.
The chairman also mentioned that there are fiscal consolidation issues that limit gains on public expenditure, but a focused and strategic expenditure by central and state governments could yield efficiency gains.
Furthermore, the centrally sponsored schemes that were simply gathered under an umbrella structure also prove to be an obstruction in the way they are handled. Although the schemes have been reduced to 28 already, a further pruning of the number to not more than 10 or 15 is likely to prove efficient.