Implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) and an increase in salary bill due to 7th Pay Commission will not strain government's fiscal position, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said on Monday.
"I think we are in a very good shape as far as fiscal management is concerned. That was appreciated by all economists," he said while interacting with reporters after a meeting of economists which was chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at NITI Aayog.
He made it clear that the government's fiscal position is strong enough to bear the impact of OROP and implementation of 7th Pay Commission.
OROP is likely to result in an outgo of Rs 8,000-10,000 crore this fiscal.
The pre-Budget meeting discussed various issues, including agriculture productivity, job creation and fiscal expenditure. "We had some of India's most eminent economists and commentators there. Obviously, it is very early in the cycle to start the consultation. But we felt that if there were good ideas, we could incorporate them even in this fiscal year. Obviously, for the preparation of the current budget, we could begin the work on that right now," he said.
"It was very good interaction and we look forward to incorporating much of this for this fiscal year as well as coming fiscal."
There were several topics that came up, Mr Sinha said, adding that "one very important topic that we spent time on is agriculture and what we could do to increase productivity in agriculture".
The meeting also dwelt at length on fiscal expenditure and how to ensure fiscal expenditure, particularly public investment, could be as productive as possible.
"Third major area that we spoke about is obviously the financial sector... more credit for agriculture, MSMEs and what could we do further to strengthen our banks. The final area that we also spent time on is how to ensure we are able to create more jobs for young people, whether it is in the manufacturing sector or the service sector," he said.
NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian and Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Urjit Patel were also present.