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Highlights of PM Modi's Meeting With Economists Ahead of Union Budget

By Olga

PM Modi met leading economists and sectoral experts at NITI Aayog on January 10, three weeks ahead of Union Budget 2018-19 to discuss steps to be taken to boost economic growth and generate employment. It was organized by NITI Aayog.

Highlights of PM Modi's Meeting With Economists Ahead of Union Budget
  • NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) is Government India's think tank for policy making with a vision of national development.
  • The meeting was attended by leading economists, members of NITI Aayog, experts on sectors across the country and ministers including finance minister Arun Jaitley.
  • Latest estimates of national income by Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that India's growth is expected to slow down to a four-year low of 6.5 percent this fiscal, the lowest under the Modi-led government, reported PTI. Meanwhile: India Has Potential To Grow At 7.3% in 2018: World Bank
  • The discussion was focused on six themes according to NITI Aayog's tweets:
  1. Macro-economic balances
  2. Agricultural & Rural Development
  3. Urban Development, Infrastructure & Connectivity
  4. Employment
  5. Manufacturing & Exports
  6. Health & Education
  • On Monday, the government had constituted a task force to study the feasibility of producing methanol from coal and using coal gas as a replacement of natural gas in steel production.
  • On Monday, the government has constituted NITI Aayog to study the feasibility of producing methanol from coal, and using coal gas as a replacement of natural gas in steel production, reported PTI. It is a significant development as the country aims to achieve crude steel capacity of 300 million tonnes (MT).
  • In yesterday's meeting, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian discussed economic challenges and development goals for India's economic road ahead.
  • Twin balance sheets, recapitalization of banks, power discom (power distribution companies) reforms, bond markets, human capital investments and strategic disinvestments were discussed by experts and leading economists at the meeting.
  • Economists and Government of India's secretaries discuss India's success in behavior change communication for Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, Digital India and ODF (Open Defecation Free) Initiatives.
  • The topic of discussion among sectoral experts continued with India's success in ease of doing business, startup movement, FDI inflows, and NITI Aayog's 'Cooperative Competitive Federalism' movement. Also Read: 100% FDI Approved In Single Brand Retail, Air India FDI Norms Relaxed
  • Later in the meeting, experts hailed Prime Minister Modi and NITI's collective model of "Aspirational Districts" where 115 Districts are chosen to be transformed with 48 indicators selected. A portal is to be created, and districts are to be ranked.
  • All ministries will work together towards transforming "Aspirational Districts." NITI to transform 23 districts, home minister to bring change in 32 districts and the remaining districts will be distributed among other Ministries as a part of "Transforming India" movement.
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