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PM Modi to take stock of economy at meet with experts tomorrow

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take stock of the economy with experts at NITI Aayog on Tuesday against the backdrop of currency crunch post demonetization and discuss ways to speed up growth.

“The theme of tomorrow’s meeting is ‘Economic Policy Reform, Road Ahead’. The Prime Minister will make opening remarks. There are 15 invitees who will make their presentations before the Prime Minister,” a senior government official said.

The meeting assumes significance in view of various multilateral agencies and RBI lowering growth forecast for the current fiscal. RBI has reduced the economic growth forecast to 7.1% from 7.6% in its monetary policy review earlier this month.

Multilateral funding body Asian Development Bank (ADB) too slashed growth projection to 7% for the current fiscal, from its earlier 7.4% due to the impact of demonetization on economic activities.

Indian economy expanded by 7.1% and 7.3% in first and second quarters of 2016-17.

Economists, including former Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, have raised concerns that demonetization will disrupt the economy and pull down GDP growth rate for this fiscal by up to two percentage points.

The official said the Prime Minister will also take stock of various initiatives of NITI Aayog to promote digital economy like Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi Dhan Vyapaar Yojana to incentivise digital payments.

The estimated expenditure on the first phase of the schemes (up to April 14, 2017) is likely to be Rs 340 crore.