Create jobs: Experts tell PM ahead of Budget

Aaron Brown
January 13, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday attended an interactive session with over 40 economists and other experts, organised by NITI Aayog on "Economic Policy - The Road Ahead".

The key sectors for discussion included macro-economy, agriculture and rural development, employment, health and education, manufacturing and exports.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also thanked everyone for their "thought-provoking suggestions", a Government statement said.

Many experts suggested measures for raising farm productivity, reducing cost of farming and improving market access for farmers, said NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar.

Niti Aayog has set up a task force to examine high frequency employment data.

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"There is a much better news on employment" contrary to the data provided by labour bureau and the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).

A number of presentations were before the Prime Minister for the duration of the conference after which, he expressed thanks to all participants for their proposals and observations and assured them that the government will mull over on these issues.

Earlier last week, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released the first advance estimate that indicated a low 6.5 per cent growth figure mainly due to slowed performance of manufacturing and agriculture. It was 7.5 percent in 2014-15. "The PM was present for a significant period and showed keen interest in the presentations", said a source who was present in the meeting.

The ideas ranged from entire spectrum of economy. "Some suggested creating clusters in different districts that can specialise in certain agricultural products", he added.

The Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman said all the participants unanimously supported the National Medical Commission Bill, which has been referred to a parliamentary committee for scrutiny. There were also suggestions that India should adopt a stronger export strategy. "And we need better government capability to target the sectors which are needed to expand exports", he said.

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