Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman has concluded pre-Budget consultation meetings for Budget 2021-22. She chaired the pre-budget consultations, held in virtual mode, with various stakeholders, including farmer organisations, economists, civil society as well as the industry bodies, for reviving the economy impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pre-Budget consultation meetings started from December 14 and concluded on December 23.
Union Budget 2021, the third budget to be tabled by Modi government 2.0 and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is likely to be presented on February 1.
The government faces a daunting task to cope with coronavirus economic fallout and address critical issues pertaining to growth contraction and subdued revenue collection triggered by the pandemic.
As per the Finance Ministry, more than 170 invitees representing 9 stakeholder groups participated in 15 pre-Budget meetings. The stakeholder groups included representatives from financial and capital markets, health, education, rural development, water and sanitation, trade unions and labour organisations, industry, services, infrastructure, energy and climate change sectors, agriculture and agro-processing industry, industrialists, and economists.
The Ministry said that the stakeholder groups made several suggestions on various subjects that included fiscal policy (including taxation), bond markets, insurance, infrastructure spending, health and education, social protection, skilling, water harvesting and conservation. Among others, they also furnished suggestions on other subjects such as sanitation, MGNREGA, public distribution system, ease of doing business, production-linked investment scheme, exports, branding of 'Made in India' products, public sector delivery mechanisms, innovation, green growth, and non-polluting sources of energy and vehicles.
"The participants lauded government's efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve and a strong recovery in economic growth in the second quarter of 2020-21. They further stated that India is among very few countries whose economic activity has risen with declining pandemic induced fatalities," the FinMin said.
Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur, Finance Secretary AB Pandey; Secretary, DIPAM, Tuhin Kanta Pandey; Secretary, Expenditure, TV Somanathan; Secretary, DEA, Tarun Bajaj; Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian and senior officers from Ministry of Finance and other ministries also participated in the meeting.
By Chitranjan Kumar