Economist Surjit Bhalla resigns from PM Narendra Modi's Economic Advisory Council

New Delhi: Indian economist Surjit Bhalla resigned from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s economic advisory council  effective 1 December, a spokesman in Modi’s office said on Tuesday.

Bhalla said that he had resigned as part-time member of the economic advisory council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) on 1 December.

"I resigned as part-time member of PMEAC on December 1," Bhalla said on social networking site Twitter.

The EAC-PM is headed by Niti Aayog member Bibek Debroy. Economists Rathin Roy, Ashima Goyal and Shamika Ravi are other part-time members.

News about Bhalla’s resignation comes a day after the Reserve Bank of India’s governor Urjit Patel quit abruptly after a months-long tussle over policy with the government.

 Economist Surjit Bhalla resigns from PM Narendra Modis Economic Advisory Council

File image of economist Surjit Bhalla. Reuters

Modi formed the council late in 2017 to address issues of macroeconomic importance.

The spokesman said Bhalla planned to join another organisation. Bhalla was not available for comment.

Bhalla had in October this year said that the four years of the Modi government were the ‘best years’ of the Indian economy and favoured more key reforms needed to be undertaken. Bhalla also said although the macroeconomic parameters have shown good performance in the last four years, there are concerns about bad loans, and part of the problem can be attributed to the RBI Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) decision to keep interest rates high.

“If you look at any macro parameters then these (Modi government’s four years) are the best four years of the Indian economy…so without a doubt, the macro performance is better, that is not to say everything is working or everything is fine,” he told PTI in an interview. “We have the NPA crisis that by all account is a lot worse now as a share of GDP or as a share of loans.

And there are reasons why that is grown up and I think in my opinion the tight monetary policy that has been followed by the MPC is in some part to blame for the fact that the NPAs have risen,” Bhalla added. The Narendra Modi-led NDA government came to power in May 2014. Asked what more reforms can be undertaken by the Modi government, the eminent economist said the government should consider income transfer instead of higher minimum support price (MSP) and loan waivers.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Dec 11, 2018 10:39:06 IST