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Budget in Mind, PM Modi Discusses 'Single-minded Pursuit' for Growth with Economists and Experts

Describing it as 'a fruitful interaction', Modi said the inputs received from more than the 40 industry representatives were insightful and would benefit the country's growth trajectory.


Updated:June 22, 2019, 11:33 PM IST
Budget in Mind, PM Modi Discusses 'Single-minded Pursuit' for Growth with Economists and Experts
PM Modi with ministers and industrialists at a meeting in New Delhi on Saturday. (PTI)

New Delhi: Further opening of banking and insurance sectors for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), speeding up disinvestment process and management of water resources were among the focus areas of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's interaction on Saturday with economists and industry experts to achieve higher economic growth, said sources.

The meeting came two weeks ahead of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presenting the full Budget for 2019-20 on July 5 in the Lok Sabha. It will be the first full Budget of the Modi 2.0 government.

During the interactive session, speakers made a case for "single-minded pursuit" to achieve growth, they added.

A release issued by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said that the session, organised by Niti Aayog on 'Economic Policy — The Road Ahead', was attended by more than 40 economists and sectoral experts.

"During the session, participants shared their views, in five distinct groups, on the economic themes of macro economy and employment, agriculture and water resources, exports, education and health," the release said.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (independent charge) for Statistics and Programme Implementation Rao Inderjeet Singh, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, CEO Amitabh Kant and senior government officials were also present.

Modi in a tweet said he had a fruitful interaction with economists and other experts. "The inputs received were insightful and will benefit our growth trajectory."

Tata Sons Chairperson N Chandrasekaran, Tata Steel Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer TV Narendran, Vedanta Resources Chairperson Anil Agarwal, ITC Chairperson and MD Sanjiv Puri, and Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma were among the industry leaders who put forth their views in the meeting.

Among the economists and experts present were former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan, former Chief Economic Adviser Shankar Acharya, former PMEAC member Surjit Bhalla, National Stock Exchange CEO Vikram Limaye, Nomura chief economist Sonal Varma, National Council of Applied Economic Research Director General Shekhar Shah, and Economic Advisory Council Chairperson Bibek Debroy.

Sources said key issues like creation of jobs, boosting exports amid trade wars and initiating more structural reforms too were focus of the interactive session.

Niti Aayog, the government think-tank, termed the session as "lively, vibrant, constructive" where extremely positive discussions took place.

Tata Sons Chairman Chandrasekaran appreciated the Niti Aayog's policy of pushing eco-friendly electric vehicles in the country, according to sources. The Aayog has asked conventional two- and three-wheeler makers to suggest within two weeks concrete steps towards transition to electric mobility keeping in mind 2025 deadline.

During the session, Vedanta's Anil Agarwal made a case for further liberalisation of the coal and mining sector.

The PMO release said Modi thanked all participants for their suggestions and observations on various aspects of the economy.

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