Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with leading economists and sectoral experts on Friday to deliberate on measures that may be included in the upcoming Union Budget 2021 for boosting economic growth.
The session is being organised by government think tank NITI Aayog, which will be held virtually. The meeting will also be attended by Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar and Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
"The Prime Minister will meet economists on Friday to seek their inputs for the next budget," news agency PTI quoted a government official as saying.
So far, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has concluded pre-Budget consultations with the captains of industry, services, and trade in connection with Budget 2021. The Finance Minister will present the Budget on February 1 at 11 am in the Lok Sabha.
The upcoming budget holds greater significance as economy has been badly disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. As per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India's GDP is projected to contract 7.5 per cent in the current financial year ending March 31, 2021, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank estimates the contraction at 10.3 per cent and 9.6 per cent, respectively. India's economic growth stood at an estimated 4.2 per cent in 2019-20.
The Indian economy, however, has witnessed sharp recovery since June with the gradual reopening of economic activities. The country's economy recovered faster than expected in the July-September quarter to -7.5 per cent, against the massive contraction of 23.9 per cent in the first quarter, as a pick-up in manufacturing helped GDP clock a lower contraction. The better than expected growth was primarily due to significant rebound in sectors like manufacturing, construction and 'trade, hotels, transport, communication & services related to broadcasting'.
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