Economists ask for Budget push to boost growth

 Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, MoS in the Ministry of Finance Anurag Thakur and others attend a pre-budget meeting (PTI File Photo)

Economists have urged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to use the General Budget to set the tone for the next five years, according to a Business Line article. 

And social sector experts have called for a focus on education, hygiene, women's safety and infant nutrition in the upcoming Budget. These discussions happened during two recent pre-Budget meetings.

In a meeting with economists, the main topics included boosting economic growth, job-oriented growth, increased macro-economic stability and fiscal management. Suggestions included tariff reforms,

removing supply-chain bottlenecks, EXIM policy for agriculture, removal of certain duties on textiles, maintaining fiscal consolidation, the revival of Inter-State Councils for holistic domestic growth, and boosting employment with a fillip to the services and manufacturing sector. 

Economists have called for friendlier direct and indirect taxes. Simplification of GST along with the implementation of the Direct Taxes Code was suggested. Attention was drawn to the Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) sector and an Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code-type framework was proposed. 

Economists who attended the meeting included Rathin Roy (CEO & Director, NIPFP), Shekhar Shah (DG, National Council of Applied Economic Research), Surjit S. Bhalla (MD, O(X) US Investment), Soumya Kanti Ghosh (Chief Economist, SBI), Ajit Ranade (Chief Economist, Aditya Birla Group) and Pranjul Bhandari (Chief India Economist, HSBC).

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