- PM Modi met more than 40 economists, industry experts
- The meeting took place amid growing concern over slowdown of the economy
- The economy grew at its slowest pace in 17 quarters
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held a meeting with more than 40 economists and industry experts to review the macroeconomic situation of the country. The meeting took place amid growing concern over the slowdown in the economy.
"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," said a release issued by the Prime Minister's Office.
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.
The high-level meeting took place days ahead of the General Budget that will be presented in parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on July 5.
Ahead of today's meeting, public policy think-tank NITI Aayog had divided the economists and sectoral experts into different groups to brainstorm on key sectors of the economy such as like infrastructure, agriculture as well as the larger challenge of job creation, sources said. These groups were given specific targets to identify the hurdles to growth and what steps the government can take to address these bottle-necks and bring back the growth sentiment in those sectors.
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.
The Statistics Ministry last month said the unemployment rate was at a 45-year low, 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.
Last Saturday, at meeting of the NITI Aayog, PM Modi said the goal to make India a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2024, was challenging, but achievable. The meeting was attended by chief ministers, lieutenant governors of union territories, union ministers and senior government officials.