Rangarajan to head PM`s economic advisory council
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Last Updated: Wednesday, August 12, 2009, 00:01
New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday reconstituted his Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC), bringing back veteran economist C Rangarajan as its head and inducting two new members.

Rangarajan, 77, who will replace Suresh Tendulkar, has quit his Rajya Sabha seat and will be taking over as head of the PMEAC tomorrow.

"I have resigned my Rajya Sabha seat and will be taking over as the Chairman of the PMEAC from tomorrow", said Rangarajan, who had his first stint as Chairman from 2005 to 2008 when he was nominated to the Rajya Sabha.

The two new members of the PMEAC are Suman Bery, Director General of the National Council of Applied Economic Research, and V S Yvas, President, Asian Society of Agricultural Economists.

The other economists who have been retained as PMEAC members are Saumitra Chaudhuri, member, Planning Commission, and Govinda Rao, Director, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP).

A former Reserve Bank Governor, Rangarajan is a close confidant of Singh and has varied experience having served as RBI Governor, Planning Commission member, Chairman of the 12th Finance Commission and as Governor of Andhra Pradesh.

The appointment of Rangarajan comes at a time when the government is faced with challenges of economic recovery from the effects of global meltdown and a looming drought at home.

One of the foremost tasks before Rangarajan and his team would be to advise the Prime Minister on strategies to combat the impact of delayed monsoon on farm productivity and prices.

According to recent reports, 161 districts out of the total 600 have been declared drought affected.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too in his address to chief secretaries of states on Saturday called for putting in place a contingency plan for crops and drinking water to deal with drought.

Among other things, Singh had also called for keeping a close watch on the availability of foodgrains and prices of essential commodities.

Prices of food items, especially sugar and pulses, have been soaring despite the wholesale price-based inflation remaining in the negative territory since June.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, August 12, 2009, 00:01

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