India is among very few countries whose economic activity has risen with declining pandemic induced fatalities

Continuing with weeklong pre-budget exercise, Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman has held consultation meetings with more than 170 invitees in a virtual mode.

These invitees representing 9 stakeholder groups participated in 15 meetings scheduled from December 14 to 17 and 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; MGNREGA; 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. They further stated that India is among very few countries whose economic activity has risen with declining pandemic induced fatalities.

The stakeholder groups include, Financial and Capital Markets; Health, Education and Rural Development; Water and Sanitation; Trade Union and Labour Organization; 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 Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Finance Secretary Dr A.B. Pandey; Secretary, DIPAM, Shri Tuhin Kanta Pandey; Secretary, Expenditure, Shri T.V. Somanathan; Secretary, DEA, Shri Tarun Bajaj; Chief Economic Advisor Shri Krishnamurthy Subramanian and senior officers from Ministry of Finance and other Ministries also participated in the meeting.

Finance Minister Sitharaman thanked the participants for sharing their valuable suggestions assuring that all suggestions will be carefully considered while preparing the budget 2021-22.