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Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

Nirmala Sitharaman holds Pre-Budget Consultation with Prominent Economists and Representatives of Infrastructure Sector

New Delhi,

Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman held her 8th Pre-Budget Consultation Meeting with the leading Economists here today in connection with the forthcoming General Budget 2020-21.

The main focus areas of the discussions included steps needed to achieve $5 trillion economy, job-oriented growth with focus on manufacturing and services, transparency of fiscal arithmetic, monetary transmission, Government’s fiscal prudence and fiscal stimulus, revival of NBFCs and inflation targeting among others.

Along with the Finance Minister, the said aforesaid meeting was attended by Shri Rajeev Kumar, Finance Secretary; Shri Atanu Chakraborty, Secretary, DEA;Shri Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Revenue Secretary;Shri Tuhin Kant Pandey , Secretary , DIPAM ,Shri Pramod Chandra Mody, Chairman, CBDT; Dr K.V. Subramanian, CEA, and other senior officials of the Ministry of Finance.

The Economists were optimistic about the India growth story and put forward ways through which India can achieve the goal of $5 trillion economy. Among the key suggestions were to attractmore investment to support growth; streamlining policy matters and faster resolution of policy issues in all sectors;fiscal management; reforms in the power sector; focus on long-term reforms through structural reforms in simplification of GST and Direct Tax Code reforms; securing supply chains for economy; fiscal deficit; continuity in economic policy making; land and labour reforms; ways to enhance rural demand; improve oversight of financial markets; reforms in small savings rate; boosting agricultural exports;simplifying procedures to give financial savings shot in the arm.

The major participants in the aforesaid meeting included Shri Neelkanth Mishra, Credit Suisse; Shri Rathin Roy, Director, NIFP; Shri Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express;  Shri Shekhar Shah, Director General, NCAER;  Shri Arvind Virmani, Economist;  Shri Surjit S. Bhalla, Managing Director, O(X)US Investment;  Shri Abheek Barua, Chief Economist, HDFC Bank;  Shri SoumyaKanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser, State Bank of India;  Shri Ajit Mishra, Director, Institute of Economic Growth;  Shri Ajit Ranade, Chief Economist, Aditya Birla Group; Shri PrasannaTantri, Assistant Professor (Finance), Indian School of Business;  Shri Rahul Bajoria, Chief Economist, Barclays Investment Bank and  Shri SuvodeepRakshit, Vice President, Kotak Securities Ltd.; Shri Sachin Chaturdvedi, Director General, RIS;among others.

Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs, holds Pre-Budget Consultation with the Representatives of Infrastructure Sector and experts of energy sector and climate change

Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, held her seventh  Pre-Budget Consultations with different stakeholders from Infrastructure Sector and experts of energy sector and climate change in connection with the forthcoming General Budget 2020-21 here today.

The main areas of discussion during the aforesaid meeting included issues relating to challenges in the infrastructure sector vis-à-vis framing of trade rules and policies in global context, quality of resilience of infrastructure sector and related finance, railway infrastructure, enhanced focus on adapting renewable energy for economy and environment, climate resilient infrastructure development, promotion of non-fossil fuel based energy and growing role of Circular economy in development imperatives and policies among others.

Along with the Finance Minister, the meeting was attended by  Finance Secretary, Shri Rajeev Kumar; Shri Atanu Chakraborty, Secretary, Economic Affairs; Shri Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Revenue Secretary; Shri Tuhin Kant Pandey, Secretary, DIPAM; Shri Chandra Kishore Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; Shri Sanjeev Ranjan, Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways; Shri Anand Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy; Dr K.V. Subramanian, CEA, and other senior officials of Ministry of Finance.

The stakeholders of Infrastructure Sector and experts of energy sector and climate change gave a wide range of suggestions in the aforesaid meeting including availability of finance for real estate, infrastructure and affordable housing; renewable energy sector to have larger capacity creation; further fine-tuning in IT Act; lower duties and softer lending rates;  automotive industry’s role in fighting climate change through  support for electric  mobility, scrapping policy for old polluting vehicles and focus on mass transport powered by renewable energy; attention on taxonomy on green economic activities/climate finance; climate compliant investment; more funds for combating Air pollution increasing efficiency of resource use; promoting energy efficiency in SME sector via Government support to cluster based intermediaries and faster phasing out of depreciated coal fired power plants . Further suggestions include push to bio-fertiliser; viability gap funding for batteries to encourage renewable energy power storage, expansion of existing Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) , promotion of energy efficient appliances including LPG Cooking stoves and bringing technology for improving Railway infrastructure.

Stakeholders of Infrastructure Sector and experts of energy sector and climate change included Shri Mahendra Singhi, President, Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA); Shri Naveen Munjal, Managing Director, Hero Electric Vehicles Pvt. Ltd.; Shri Manoj Kohli, Executive MD of SB Energy; Shri Rajan S. Mathews, Director General, Cellular Operators Association of India; Shri T.R. Dua, Director General, TAIPA; Shri Rajan Wadhera, President, SIAM; Shri Pustav Joshi, Program Manager (Clean Energy Finance), Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation; Shri Ajay Mathur, DG, TERI; Shri N. K.Goyal, President, CMAI Association of India, Chairman Emeritus TEMA; Shri Mihir Swarup Sharma, Head, Observer Research Foundation; Shri Kireet Kumar, Scientists-G & Head CLWRM, G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development;   Shri Navroz K. Dubash, Professor, Centre for Policy Research; Shri Milind G. Sohoni, Professor, Indian School of Business and Shri Shantanu Dixit, Coordinator, Prayas (Energy Group) among others.



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