Further opening of banking and insurance sectors for FDI, speeding up disinvestment process and management of water resources were among the focus areas of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interaction with economists and industry experts on Saturday to achieve higher economic growth, said sources.
During the interactive session, ahead of the presentation of the Union Budget next month, speakers made a case for “single minded pursuit” to achieve growth, they added.
A release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said that the session organised by Niti Aayog on ‘Economic Policy – The Road Ahead’ was attended by over 40 economists and sectoral experts.
“During the session, participants shared their views, in five distinct groups, on the economic themes of macro economy and employment, agriculture and water resources, exports, education and health,” the release said.
Meanwhile, PM Modi in a tweet said he had a fruitful interaction with economists and other experts. “The inputs received were insightful and will benefit our growth trajectory.”
N Chandrasekaran (Chairman, Tata Sons), T V Narendran (Global CEO and MD, Tata Steel), Anil Agarwal (Chairman, Vedanta Resources), Sanjiv Puri (Chairman and MD, ITC), and Vijay Shekhar Sharma (CEO, Paytm) were among the industry leaders who put forth their views in the meeting.
Among the economists and experts present at the meeting were Bimal Jalan (former RBI Governor), Shankar Acharya (former Chief Economic Adviser), Surjit Bhalla (former PMEAC member), Vikram Limay (CEO, NSE), Sonal Varma (Chief Economist, Nomura), Shekhar Shah (DG, NCAER), and Bibek Debroy (Chairman, EAC-PM).
Sources said that key issues like creation of jobs, boosting exports amid trade wars and initiating more structural reforms too were focus of the interactive session.
Niti Aayog, the government think-tank, termed the session as “lively, vibrant, constructive” where extremely positive discussions took place.
Tata Sons Chairman Chandrasekaran appreciated the Niti Aayog’s policy of pushing eco-friendly electric vehicles in the country, according to sources.
The Aayog has asked conventional two- and three-wheeler makers to suggest within two weeks concrete steps towards transition to electric mobility keeping in mind 2025 deadline.
During the session, Vedanta’s Anil Agarwal made a case for further liberalisation of the coal and mining sector.
The PMO release said the Prime Minister thanked all participants for their suggestions and observations on various aspects of the economy.
The meeting was also attended by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State (independent charge) for Statistics and Programme Implementation Rao Inderjeet Singh.
Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, CEO Amitabh Kant and senior government officials were also present.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be presenting the full Budget for 2019-20 on July 5 in the Lok Sabha. It will be the first full Budget of the Modi 2.0 government.