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1-min read

Not Growth for Sake of it, PM Modi Seeks Ideas for Growth That Creates Jobs

Other focus areas at the meeting were infrastructure and health and education, but key attention was paid to the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, whose slowdown has dragged down the overall growth rate of the economy.

News18.com

Updated:January 16, 2018, 4:49 PM IST
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Not Growth for Sake of it, PM Modi Seeks Ideas for Growth That Creates Jobs
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the meeting with economists on Wednesday. (Photo: Twitter)
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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday held a brainstorming session with top economists of the country to outline issues that are holding back growth and lay a roadmap to rebound the economy.

The consensus at the pre-budget meeting, which was held behind closed doors, was that growth in itself is not everything and the focus should be on a model that leads to employment generation, sources told News18.com.

The Prime Minister, who arrived at the day-long meeting at 4:30pm, agreed that the impetus to job growth can be provided by small and medium enterprises and rural sectors.

The panelists, including members of the PM’s economic advisory team and the NITI Aayog, identified farm sector allied activities, such as poultry and dairy, to boost job creation.

The government has been facing criticism of providing jobless growth as unemployment rate has increased under the NDA government. It stood at 5% of the labour force in 2015-16, up from 4.9% when Modi became the Prime Minister.

Other focus areas at the meeting were infrastructure and health and education, but key attention was paid to the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, whose slowdown has dragged down the overall growth rate of the economy.

The statistics office had last week pegged the GDP growth at 6.5% for 2017-18, the slowest in four years, and down from the 7.1% in the previous year.

According to an economist who was present in the meeting, increasing farmers’ income through allied activities like forestry and horticulture was also discussed. There was also stress on improving the work conditions of labourers by introducing contracts and bringing certainty to their job.

A host of ministers including finance minister Arun Jaitley, railway minister Piyush Goyal, road transport minister Nitin Gadkari and agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh were also present in the meeting. The sources said that some of the ideas discussed on Wednesday could find a mention in Jaitley’s budget speech.

| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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