PM Modi sets up two cabinet committees to address growth, employment concerns

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New Delhi | Updated: June 5, 2019 7:27:54 PM

Sagging economic growth is a major concern for the Narendra Modi government.

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Prime Narendra Modi on Wednesday constituted two cabinet committees to address the growth needs of the economy amid reports indicating an economic slowdown. The five-member cabinet committee on growth and investment led by the Prime Minister will have home minister Amit Shah, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, railway minister Piyush Goyal and transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari as members.

Modi will head another committee on skill development and employment. The members of the 10-member committee are Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal, human resource development minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan, minister for agriculture and rural development Narendra Singh Tomar, skill and entrepreneurship minister Mahendra Nath Pandey and ministers of state Santosh Kumar Gangwar (Labour) and Hardeep Singh Puri (Housing and Urban Affairs).

Sagging economic growth is a major concern for the Narendra Modi government. The GDP growth for the January-March quarter was 5.8 percent, the lowest in the five years of the NDA government. The GDP growth for 2018-19 was 6.8 percent, against the target of 7.2 percent set by the government.

Also read: Reviving optimism in Indian economy is Sitharaman’s biggest challenge

Another concern for the government is a dip in the performance of the core sectors of the economy. The eight core sectors – coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity – recorded a growth of 2.6 percent in April, compared with 4.6 percent in the same month last year.

Meanwhile, as per the World Bank forecast, India’s economy is expected to grow at 7.5 percent in the next three years, supported by private consumption and robust investment.

In its Global Economic Prospects released on Tuesday, the World Bank said that India was expected to have grown 7.2 percent in fiscal year 2018/19, that ended March 31. It further said that a dip in government consumption was offset by solid investment, that benefitted from public infrastructure spending.

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