Amidst growing concern over the slowdown in the economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a meeting with economists and financial experts on June 22 to discuss all issues related to growth and development, sources have told NDTV.
The constraints on growth acceleration and employment generation are expected to be discussed in the meeting, sources said, and added that the main focus would revolve around on how to bring back the growth sentiment in the economy and take it towards a higher growth level.
The brainstorming session comes two weeks ahead of the General Budget that will be presented in Parliament on July 5. This year's budget is expected to outline a roadmap to take the economy towards a higher growth trajectory, sources said.
On May 31, a day after PM Modi was sworn in for a second term following his election victory, the government had announced the third straight fall in quarterly growth to 5.8 per cent in the first three months of the year (FY 2018-19). The economy grew at its slowest pace in 17 quarters. The figure was down from 6.6 percent in the last quarter of 2018.
The figure meant India is no longer the world's fastest growing major economy; it is China, with 6.4 percent growth in the first quarter. India has fallen behind China's pace for the first time in nearly two years.
At the same time, the government's Ministry of Statistics put out figures that confirmed that unemployment was at a 45-year low.
The ministry said the unemployment rate was at 6.1 per cent in 2017-18, confirming the figure leaked to Business Standard newspaper in January, which said it was the worst since 1972-73.
Unemployment and the economy had been pitched as major issues by the Congress during the campaign for the national election. However, the party faced a crushing defeat in the elections, winning just 52 seats in the 545-member Lok Sabha. The BJP's victory was attributed mainly to its nationalism pitch during the campaign, where the economy was barely referred to.