Finance Commission’s Advisory Council To Meet On April 23-24
NK Singh. (Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg)

Finance Commission’s Advisory Council To Meet On April 23-24

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The Economic Advisory Council of the 15th Finance Commission will meet on April 23-24 to discuss the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on India's gross domestic product growth and possible public expenditure to shore up the economy.

The two-day meeting, which will be held via video conference, to be presided over by Chairman NK Singh, will also discuss possible assumptions for tax buoyancy and revenue in the current year and next year, an official statement said.

The agenda of the meeting includes implications of the pandemic for GDP growth in 2020-21 and 2021-22 and uncertainty about macro variables over time. It would also discuss the public expenditure fillip to shore up the economy.

The finance panel's advisory council was set up in April 2018 to advise the Commission on any issue or subject related to the terms of reference of the Commission, and also to assist in the preparation of any paper or research study which would enhance the Commission's understanding on the issue contained in its ToR.

Several international agencies, including IMF and World Bank, have cut India's growth forecast over concerns about the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The International Monetary Fund has slashed India's GDP growth projection to 1.9 percent in 2020 from 5.8 percent estimated in January, as the global economy hits the worst recession since the Great Depression in the 1930s due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Similarly, the World Bank has estimated India's economy to grow between 1.5 to 2.8 percent in the 2020-21 -- the worst growth performance since the 1991 liberalisation.

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Fitch has projected India's GDP to grow at 2 percent this fiscal -- the slowest since the economy was liberalised 30 years back. While S&P pegs GDP growth for India at 1.8 percent in the current fiscal, Moody's expects it to be 2.5 percent in 2020.

These growth estimates compare to an estimated 5 percent growth rate in 2019-20 fiscal that ended on March 31. Indian economy also grew by 5 percent in 2019 calendar year.

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