New Delhi, Jun 22
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today attended an interactive session with over 40 economists and other experts, organized by NITI Aayog on the theme “Economic Policy – The Road Ahead.”
Experts shared their views, in 5 distinct groups, on economic themes of macro-economy and employment, agriculture and water resources, exports, education, and health. The PM thanked various participants for their suggestions & observations, on various aspects of the economy, ANI tweeted.
Before the meeting with Prime Minister, domain experts at NITI Aayog dis- cussed breakthrough ideas.
“Preparatory meeting of domain experts underway at #NITIAayog to discuss breakthrough ideas in Employment, Agricultural and Water Resources, Export, Education, and Health. Opportunities and priorities on each sector shall be presented to PM @narendramodi in the evening.”
Today’s meeting was held in the backdrop of India facing a slow-down in economic growth evidenced in the dip in industrial and manufacturing output numbers, dipping automobiles sales and reduced domestic oil consumption. Agrarian crisis and unemployment are some other challenges that the government is widely expected to confront through policy initiatives in this budget.
Economic growth slowing to 5.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018-19 pushing India behind China.
The Central Statistics Office data also showed that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2018-19 (at 2011-12 prices) was at a five-year low of 6.8 per cent as compared to 7.2 per cent GDP growth in 2017-18.
Modi had met Secretaries of all ministries earlier this month and urged them to begin work on making India a five trillion dollar economy.
Government also needs to take into account the expectations laid down by states and union territories in a pre-budget meeting with the Union finance minister Nirmala Sithara-man on Friday.
Tamil Nadu which is battling a water crisis is seeking a special package of Rs 1,000 crore to augment irrigation structures in drought- hit areas and Kerala has sought more central loans as per reports.
Delhi government is reported to have demanded that its share in the Central Taxes be enhanced to at least Rs 6,000 crore from Rs 325 crore at present, this in addition to 100% funding for centrally sponsored schemes for Union Territories. Kejriwal government also wants the normal central assistance, it receives, to be raised to Rs 1500 crore in the revised Budget.
Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has asked for an increase in the PM Kisan Scheme allocations from Rs 6,000 a year to Rs 12,000 annually, while Goa has demanded a special mining assistance package along with exemption of export duty for high grade iron ore.
The fifth meeting of the Niti Aayog’s Governing Council held last Saturday had discussed drought situation, farm distress, rain water harvesting and aspirational districts programme among others. Hindustan Times