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Shamika Ravi & Rathin Roy, critics of Modi govt economic policies, dropped from PM’s panel

As PMEAC members, Rathin Roy and Shamika Ravi openly voiced concerns over some budget announcements. Roy also questioned Lok Sabha ticket to Pragya Thakur.

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New Delhi: The Modi government reconstituted the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) Wednesday evening, dropping two members, Rathin Roy and Shamika Ravi, who have been openly critical of the administration in the recent past.

The reconstituted PMEAC has a new part-time member in JP Morgan economist Sajjid Chinoy, with chairman Bibek Debroy, member secretary Ratan Watal and part-time member Ashima Goyal retained.

Roy and Ravi have been voicing their concerns over some budget announcements as well as the management of the economy by the Modi government. An email to Ravi and a call and message to Roy remained unanswered until the time of publishing. This report will be updated when they respond.


Also Read: Faced with criticism, Modi govt puts foreign borrowing plan on hold


A critic of Pragya Thakur

Roy has criticised the government’s management of its finances as well as the revenue and fiscal deficit projections. He has pointed out how India is facing a “silent fiscal crisis” while questioning the budget numbers for their tax revenue, tax to GDP ratio, and fiscal deficit projections for 2019-20. 

He also vociferously opposed the government’s budget announcement to go in for a sovereign bond issuance in external currencies. 

He likened it to an “addiction” and flagged the dismal state of Latin American economies that had opted for such a move. He also blasted the government for not being consultative on such an important issue.

In this year’s budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the government’s intent to raise funds through sovereign bond issues in external currencies, leading many economists, and two former RBI governors, to oppose the move.  

Roy also raised his voice against BJP MP Pragya Thakur, questioning her candidature in the Lok Sabha election despite her statements against Mumbai police officer Hemant Karkare, who died while fighting terrorists on 26/11, and Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation.

Questioned the e-cigarette ban

Ravi concurred with Roy on the dangers of a sovereign bond issuance in overseas markets and questioned the rationale for the government to undertake exchange rate risks.

She also expressed concern about the state of the Indian economy, pointing out that India was facing a structural slowdown and needed a growth strategy. She said it was time for major reforms and not just “tinkering”. She went on to add that “leaving the economy to the finance ministry is like leaving the growth of a firm to its accounts department”. 

She, however, withdrew her comment a day later, after Sitharaman announced a series of measures to revive the economy. 

Ravi has also questioned the rationale behind banning e-cigarettes while continuing the sale of traditional cigarettes. 


Also Read: Ex-RBI governor Bimal Jalan backs India’s first foreign sovereign bond sale


 

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7 COMMENTS

  1. why do we have so many leftists especially from Bongol crowding everywhere? We know they are just hot airbags who keep yapping just like us Malayalis. Nothing useful but idiotic theories galore. If we can eliminate them from critical areas we will progress better

  2. Why do you all not understand? I do not want Economist. They show off. I want non economist who thinks like Indian like me.

    • The fascination with a fellow who probably arranged for his FIL or BIL to issue a Nobel MEMORIAL Prize and then strut around as a Nobel Laureate is the best example of the fascination with idiotic western/leftist ideas of bongos.

  3. Giving a ticket to Pragya Thakur would be off limits for a member of the EAC to comment on. However, pointing out what is going wrong with the economy, raising a flag on sovereign bonds, urging structural reforms, all this is what these fine folk were hired to advise on. 2. Social media is something the government system will have to figure out. How much candour is acceptable, perhaps some ground rules could be formulated. It cannot be restricted to treacle tarts like My Dad grew up in a slave country, etc etc.

  4. So asking question now treated as a crime. Remind me of school days “don’t ask questions during class”. So when and where ?

    • You mean doing what he learned in his very last class room is wrong??At work since then, the lesson never failed in career.

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