Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called for a focussed effort to make India a $5 trillion economy in an interaction with economists, sector experts and successful young entrepreneurs ahead of the Union Budget for 2020-21.
Appreciating the suggestions made by the experts, the Prime Minister said that he would endeavour to enhance the synergy between policymakers and various stakeholders.
During a two-hour meeting at the Niti Aayog as part of the pre-Budget exercise, the experts made hosts of suggestions for reviving economic growth, which is estimated to slip to an 11-year low of five percent in 2019-20.
"Prime Minister said that the idea of $5 trillion economy is not a sudden development and that it is based on a deep understanding of the strengths of the country," an official statement said.
He further said that the strong absorbent capacity of Indian economy shows the strength of basic fundamentals of the country's economy and its capacity to bounce back.
According to the statement, the Prime Minister said the sectors like tourism, urban development, infrastructure and agri-based industry have a great potential to take forward the economy and for employment generation.
"The Prime Minister said that this would also foster a positive mood and 'can do' spirit in the society," it said.
India is a land with unlimited possibilities, he said and stressed that all stakeholders to do their bit to bridge the gap between reality and perception.
"We must all work together and start to think like a nation," the Prime Minister said.
According to sources, the speakers urged the government to focus on credit expansion, exports growth, governance of public sector banks (PSBs), increasing consumption and job creation. As many as 40 experts and economists attended the meeting.
Modi assured them that he would act on suggestions which can be implemented in short-term and also consider long-term suggestions in due course as these require structural reforms.
"Honourable PM @narendramodi had an interactive session with economists & industry experts at @NITIAayog today. Discussed a wide range of issues relating to economic growth, startups & innovation," Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar tweeted.
The high-profile meeting was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal besides Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, CEO Amitabh Kant and other senior officials of the think-tank.
Bibek Debroy, chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, too was present at the meeting.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was not present as she was holding pre-Budget meetings with party workers at BJP headquarters.
The Niti Aayog meeting assumes significance as the government is in the process of formulating Budget proposals for 2020-21. The government's focus will be on accelerating economic growth, which is estimated to slip to an 11-year low of five percent during 2019-20.
The Prime Minister on Monday interacted with top business tycoons to discuss the issues facing the economy and measures needed to boost growth and create jobs.
Among others, meeting was attended NIPFP economist Ila Patnaik, former chief economic advisor Shankar Acharya, IGIDR Professor R Nagraj, KKR India CEO Sanjay Nayar, Ather Energy Co-founder and CEO Tarun Mehta, MakeMyTrip CEO Deep Kalra, Dabur India chief Mohit Malhotra, Bandhan Bank MD and CEO Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, and CRISIL MD and CEO Ashu Suyash, among others.
Sitharaman will be presenting her second Union Budget on February 1.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)