NEW DELHI: Strategies to kick-start the slowing economy in an environment of global protectionism, create jobs by stimulating construction, infrastructure and MSME sectors, besides solving an ongoing farm crisis, were among the issues discussed at a meeting held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a team of 40 economists.
The meeting organised by the NITI Aayog was termed ‘Economic Policy — The Road Ahead’. “During the session, participants shared their views, in five distinct groups, on the economic themes of macroeconomy and employment, agriculture and water resources, exports, education and health,” said a release from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Officials said the economists gave presentations which, among other things, recommended a slew of measures to boost employment by taking up a massive infrastructure push, and talking measures to encourage the MSME sector.
“We recommended measures to stimulate the economy through a combination of fiscal measures, which would include encouraging sectors that are labour-intensive like construction, infrastructure and MSME,” said one of the economists present at the meeting. All present at the meet were reportedly asked not to divulge details.
The global wave of protectionism and tariff wars and the need to encourage exports by taking measures that would not fall foul of WTO norms were also suggested. Increase in public spending on agriculture and irrigation networks were among other suggestions.
Economists also recommended focusing on skilling and providing a boost to the manufacturing sector, simplification of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), implementation of the Direct Tax Code and incentivising digital transactions.