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Rangarajan to head PM`s economic advisory council

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

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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