FM wraps up pre-Budget consultations, over 170 take part in 15 virtual meetings

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi, (Asian independent) Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday concluded pre-budget consultation meetings for budget 2021-22 held in virtual mode.

More than 170 invitees representing 9 stakeholder groups participated in 15 meetings scheduled between December 14 and 23.

The stakeholder groups include financial and capital markets; health, education and rural development; water and sanitation; trade union and labour organisations; industry, services and trade; infrastructure, energy and climate change sector; agriculture and agro-processing industry; industrialists; and economists.

Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur, Finance Secretary A.B. Pandey; Secretary, DIPAM, Tuhin Kanta Pandey; Secretary, Expenditure, T.V. Somanathan; Secretary, DEA, Tarun Bajaj; Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian and senior officers from Ministry of Finance and other Ministries also participated in the meetings.

The stakeholder groups made several suggestions on various subjects that included fiscal policy, including taxation; bond markets; insurance; infrastructure spending; health and education budget; social protection; skilling; water harvesting and conservation; sanitation; MGNREGS; public distribution system; ease of doing business; production linked investment scheme, exports; branding of ‘Made in India’ products, public sector delivery mechanisms; innovation, green growth; non-polluting sources of energy and vehicles, among others.

The participants lauded the government’s efforts to flatten the Covid-19 curve and a strong recovery in economic growth in the second quarter of 2020-21, a Finance Ministry statement on the meetings said. They further stated that India is among very few countries whose economic activity has risen with declining pandemic induced fatalities, the statement added.

Sitharaman said that all suggestions will be carefully considered while preparing the Budget 2021-22.