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NITI Aayog meet: PM meets experts, takes stock of economy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday attended an interactive session with economists and other experts, organised by NITI Aayog, on the theme ‘Economic Policy- The Road Ahead.’ During the session, participants shared their views on various economic themes such as agriculture, skill development and job creation, taxation and tariff related matters, education, digital technology, housing, tourism, banking, governance reform, data driven policy, and future steps for growth.

In his intervention, the Prime Minister thanked various participants for their suggestions and observations. In particular, he called for innovative approaches in areas such as skill development and tourism. Speaking about the budget cycle, he said this has an effect on the real economy. He said that in our existing budget calendar, the authorisation of expenditure comes with the onset of the monsoon. This he said, results in government programs being relatively inactive in the productive pre-monsoon months. He said that keeping this in view, the date of budget presentation is being advanced, so that expenditure is authorized by the time the new financial year begins.

The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of State for Planning Rao Inderjit Singh, Vice Chairman NITI Aayog Arvind Panagariya, and senior officers from the Union Government and NITI Aayog. It was also attended by economists and experts including Prof. Pravin Krishna, Prof Sukhpal Singh, Prof Vijay Paul Sharma, Neelkanth Mishra, Surjit Bhalla, Dr. Pulak Ghosh, Dr. Govinda Rao, Madhav Chavan, Dr. N.K. Singh, Mr. Vivek Dehejia, Pramath Sinha, Sumit Bose, and T.N. Ninan. The meeting assumes significance in the backdrop of various multilateral agencies and RBI lowering growth forecast for the current fiscal. The RBI has reduced the GDP growth forecast to 7.1 percent from 7.6 percent in its monetary policy review earlier this month.