Ahead of the Budget for 2018-19 on February 1, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday held deliberations with over 40 economists on the theme ‘Economic Policy – The Road Ahead’. “During the session, participants shared their views on various economic themes such as the macro-economy, agriculture and rural development, employment, health and education, manufacturing and exports, urban development, infrastructure and connectivity,” the NITI Aayog said in a statement. Among other proposals, some economists suggested that the government should impose long-term capital gains tax on equities.
Modi thanked the participants for their suggestions on various aspects of the economy, it said without elaborating. Besides economists, the meeting was attended by finance minister Arun Jaitley. Eyeing a rural outreach, the government has drawn up tailor-made action plans for 115 identified “most-backward” districts in the country to improve their socio-economic profiles by making available basic services like healthcare, sanitation and education, as well as basic physical infrastructure like roads and drinking water supply, in a time-bound manner.
India’s economic growth in real terms will hit a four-year trough of 6.5% this fiscal while its nominal gross domestic product (GDP) will expand at the slowest pace since 2012-13, according to the Central Statistics Office, worsening fears about a possible fiscal slippage.