NEW DELHI: Boosting slowing economy, creating jobs, fiscal management and scaling up private
investment were some of the major concerns flagged by economists, as Nirmala Sitharaman met them in her pre-Budget consultation on Friday.
“The fiscal management and boosting employment were flagged by most of the economists. There was demand for independent fiscal policy committee. The economists also suggested taking some of the key reforms forward, including simplification of GST and amendment of Insolvency and bankruptcy code,” a source from the finance ministry said.
Apart from that, there were many sector-specific suggestions ranging from Make in India to Exim policy for Agriculture to creating separate framework for NBFC sector.
Economists who attended the meeting include Rathin Roy, Arvind Virmani, S. Mahendra Dev, Shekhar Shah, DG, National Council of Applied Economic Research; Rakesh Mohan, Nitin Desai, Economist; Surjit S. Bhalla, Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Niranjan Rajadhyaksha, among others.
Former Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Virmani said cross-border ease of doing business has not improved and corporate tax reforms need to be undertaken. “Simplification of GST and labour reforms can help attract investment,” he said.
The meeting was also attended by Rajiv Kumar, vice-chairman, NITI Aayog and the budget team of the ministry, which include all senior officials from the concerned departments. The minister also held meeting with the stakeholders from Social Sector groups.
Better health and education Infrastructure and increasing outlays on social security scheme like pension scheme were some of the demands of the sector from the budget.
The finance minister assured them that the government is committed to improving the educational standards, skilling the youth, enhancing job opportunities, reducing disease burden, empowering women and improving human development in order to have an inclusive development.
Make in India, Exim policy for Agriculture, a separate framework for NBFC sector were some of the sector-specific demands from the economists when Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam met them in her pre-Budget consultation on Friday.