Modi Meets Economists Ahead of Crucial Union Budget

PM Modi meets economists, eyes India’s leap to 3rd largest economy, ahead of Union Budget presentation

New Delhi: After the Russia-Austria tour, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met leading economists, less than two weeks ahead of the Centre’s Union Budget. The meeting, however, mainly focussed on the Prime Minister’s push for India to be the third largest economy of the world from the fifth largest one at present. The Prime Minister also sought suggestions and views from them for the upcoming Budget.

According to a top source, the meeting primarily focussed on inclusive growth and massive job creation in the country in his third term. “Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, industry experts and economists, including Niti Aayog vice-chairman Suman Bery, discussed all the important policy issues involved in the Indian economy, including new and pending reforms as well as fiscal strategies going forward in the country,” the source said.

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is scheduled to present the Budget for 2024-25 in the Lok Sabha on July 23. The Budget for 2024-25 will be the first major economic document of the Modi 3.0 government, which, among other things, is expected to lay the road map for making India a developed nation by 2047.

Sitharaman in her earlier pre-budget discussions with various stakeholders concluded on July 7 in this regard and sought their suggestions and views for the upcoming budget as well. Similarly, experts have also suggested the Centre to ease the tax burden on the taxpayers in a bid to boost consumption.

In the series of meetings of the finance minister followed by the Prime Minister, the speculations are rife that major tax reforms may be introduced, including increased threshold for standard deduction, possible restructure of capital gains taxes among other things. Insurance companies have pushed for tax relief in order to make their products more affordable and consequently boost penetration.

The small business houses in the MSME sector have also put forth some suggestions such as relaxing the 45-day payment rule, which requires making payments to MSMEs within 45 days of buying goods and services to check large corporations from looking at other sourcing avenues.

Besides economists and sectoral experts and all senior officials of Niti Aayog, including vice chairman Suman Bery and other members also attended the meeting. Besides, finance minister Sitharaman, Planning Minister Rao Inderjit Singh, chief economic Advisor V Anantha Nageswaran and economists Surjit Bhalla and Ashok Gulati and veteran banker K V Kamath among others were present in the meeting.

President Droupadi Murmu, in her address to the joint sitting of Parliament last month, had also indicated that the government would come out with historic steps to accelerate the pace of reforms. She also said the Budget will be an effective document of the government’s far-reaching policies and futuristic vision.

In the earlier meetings with the finance minister, several experts have urged the government to provide tax relief to the common man to boost consumption and take steps to check inflation and accelerate economic growth. The economy has recorded a growth rate of 8.2 per cent in 2023-24. Earlier in February, Sitharaman presented an interim budget for 2024-25 in view of the Lok Sabha elections.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
Next Story