PM Narendra Modi and economists brainstorm new ideas for Union Budget

Experts ask the govt to work towards high growth, predictable tax regime and rapid infra development.

Mail Today Bureau   New Delhi     Last Updated: February 10, 2015  | 16:46 IST
PM Modi and economists brainstorm new ideas for Union Budget
(From left) Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya at the first meeting of the body in New Delhi on Friday.

Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi brainstormed with leading economists for around three hours in the national capital on Friday to tap ideas for a growth-oriented Union Budget.

In the meeting of the newly-constituted NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Ayog, he emphasised the need for cooperative federalism and healthy competition for development of states.

"India must develop fast taking advantage of current global environment to meet the aspirations of the people," an official press release quoting Modi stated.

The sharp fall in crude oil prices in the international market is expected to help India reduce its current account and fiscal deficits, which will strengthen fundamentals of the economy.

At the same time, the slowdown in the Chinese economy and continuing recession in the Euro Zone throws up India as an attractive destination for global investors.

Modi asked for views of the economists on the state of economy, ways to perk up revenue mobilisation, expenditure rationalisation and suggestions to put India back on high growth path.

He said that an objective of the Aayog is to establish a dynamic institutional mechanism where eminent individuals outside the government system could contribute to policymaking.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said, "The meeting was organised with some very eminent economists with regard to the state of economy and steps required to boost investment, growth and even specific suggestions with regard to the Union Budget.

Niti Aayog is a think tank also and today's meeting was in that context."

Vijay Kelkar, Nitin Desai, Bimal Jalan, Rajiv Lall, R. Vaidyanathan, Subir Gokarn, Parthasarathi Shome, P Balakrishnan, Rajiv Kumar, Ashok Gulati, Mukesh Butani and G N Bajpai were among the economists who shared their views.

NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya along with two full-time members Bibek Debroy and V K Saraswat were also present.

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