ADB To Help Push Reforms In Five Areas

New Delhi, Sept 28: | Updated: Sep 29 2003, 05:30am hrs
In a bid to speed up reforms, government will collaborate with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to improve macro-economic management, infrastructure, trade, agriculture and state budgets.

Five teams have been constituted for this purpose, finance ministry sources said, adding the panels would act as think-tanks to formulate strategies for giving a renewed thrust to the reform process.

The teams will be looking into the five broad areas macro-economic management, state government budgets, trade policies, infrastructure and agriculture, for the next two year period.

The team on macro-economic management will assume importance in the face of the difficult fiscal situation and the uphill task of attaining 8 per cent growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) during the Tenth Plan period.

Indias GDP growth nosedived to 4.3 per cent in the first year of the plan period, which has put pressure on the government to scale up the GDP growth in the next four years to attain the average 8 per cent annually.

ADB, which had provided assistance to Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala in their structural reform, was expected to provide valuable input to the team working on state government finances and budget, sources said.

The two teams will come up with far-reaching suggestions to reduce the fiscal deficit of the Centre and states aggregating over 10 per cent of GDP. Although, the Centres fiscal deficit pegged at 5.6 per cent of GDP was showing signs of improvement, the financial condition is precarious in many states.