PM interacts with economists, experts

Union Budget

Eyeing at exploring the different dimensions of the country's economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, attended an interactive session with over 40 economists and other experts.

During the meeting the participating experts shared their views on various economic themes including macro-economy, agriculture and rural development, employment, health and education, manufacturing and exports, urban development, infrastructure and connectivity.

The meeting, being organised by government think tank NITI Aayog, will be attended by a host of ministers including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, NITI Aayog functionaries and leading economists.

Kumar informed that several experts backed the idea of shifting the focus from agricultural production to raising farmers income, by improving productivity, lowering costs, greater efficiency, greater market access, making producers of products rather than commodities.

Kumar further said the Niti Aayog will "very soon" come out with a report of the task force, which was set up to study high frequency data on job creation.

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"You'll see there is much better news on the employment front than what people thought", he said adding that educated unemployment among young people in the country may be as high as 20 per cent.

The Aayog vice chairman also said that all the experts backed the National Medical Commission Bill.

Kumar said that the jobs situation was also on the agenda of the meeting.

The Budget will be presented on February 1.

In his intervention, Mr. Modi thanked the participants for their suggestions and observations. "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 recapitalisation of banks was also discussed and Kumar said the view was that recapitalisation should also be accompanied by governance reforms in the banks. With the global economic growth picking up pace, many economists suggested the government to adopt an export-driven growth strategy that will boost domestic economy and lead to job creation, he said.

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