The fundamentals of Indian economy are strong and it has the capacity to bounce back, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who asserted that the idea of a $5-trn economy was not a sudden development and was based on a deep understanding of India’s strengths. Modi met economists, venture capitalists and business leaders yesterday at NITI Aayog.
According to a report, experts were divided over the issue of relaxing the fiscal deficit target for the current year. While some suggested the target should be relaxed to meet expenditure on infrastructure and other sectors, others urged to stick to the fiscal consolidation path.
The two-hour meeting reportedly discussed jobs, boosting exports to beat the slowdown, asset monetisation, disinvestment of state-run companies, the banking sector and credit availability. The government aims to rein in the fiscal deficit at 3.3 per cent of gross domestic product in the current fiscal year but sluggish revenues have raised doubts about its capacity to meet the target.
Modi, who has held a series of meetings with industrialists and experts ahead of the budget, to be presented on February 1, identified tourism, urban development, infrastructure and agri-based industry as sectors that have a great potential to take the economy forward and create jobs.
The meeting was attended by top ministers, including home minister Amit Shah, minister for road transport and highways and micro, small and medium industries Nitin Gadkari, Railways and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, Secretaries from Various Ministries, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog Rajiv Kumar and the Chief Executive Officer of the government think tank Amitabh Kant, according to a official release.
Modi has held as many as 12 meetings so far with groups of industrialists and experts. Each Ministry has been asked to prepare a five-year vision and Modi is reportedly personally reviewing each plan, going through detailed presentations.