Budget: PM Modi to interact with leading economists on Friday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with leading economists and sectoral experts on Friday to deliberate on measures that may be included in the upcoming Budget for promoting growth, amid uncertainty on multiple fronts caused by COVID-19.
The virtual meeting is being organised by the government think-tank Niti Aayog.
It will also be attended by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, and Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
Top economists and experts who will participate in the meeting include Arvind Panagariya, KV Kamath, Rakesh Mohan, Shankar Acharya, Shekhar Shah, Arvind Virmani, and Ashok Lahri.
"The Prime Minister will meet economists on Friday to seek their inputs for the next budget," a government official said on condition of anonymity.
The upcoming Union Budget is likely to be presented on February 1, 2021.
India's GDP is estimated to contract by a record 7.7 percent during 2020-21 fiscal as the COVID-19 pandemic severely hit the key manufacturing and services segments, as per data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) on Thursday.
According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India's economy is projected to contract 7.5 percent in the current fiscal ending March 31, 2021, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank have estimated the contraction at 10.3 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively.
The economy contracted by a massive 23.9 percent in the first quarter and 7.5 percent in the second quarter of this fiscal on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.
India's economic growth stood at an estimated 4.2 percent in 2019-20.
India's GDP estimates for 2020-21 show that the economy is expected to perform much better than earlier projections by different agencies, indicating a sustained V-shape post-lockdown recovery, experts said.
The first Advance Estimates (AE) by the National Statistics Office (NSO) has projected a contraction of 7.7 percent in the real GDP during 2020-21. This was better than the projections by certain international agencies like the IMF and World Bank.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)
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