PM-economists meet: Job, farm, manufacturing, exports focus areas

PM Modi to meet economists, sectoral experts on January 10

Finance minister Arun Jaitley acknowledged the thought-provoking suggestions.

NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar addressed in the press meet after the economists-conference that employment was one of the major issue discussed for the duration of the pre-union-budget-conference.

Briefing about the meeting, Kumar said experts emphasised that all efforts should be made to ensure doubling of farmers income, which often does not rise with increased production leading to decline in prices.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with experts and secretaries ahead of the Union Budget.

After the meeting, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said there were suggestions directed at both the upcoming Budget Session and for long-term structural reforms.

The key sectors for discussion included macro-economy, agriculture and rural development, employment, health and education, manufacturing and exports. We had set up a task force to examine high frequency data on employment. The task force on employment has got numbers which will be released very soon ... these numbers are startling and quite in contrast with Labour Bureau numbers. "There is a much better news on employment", Kumar said at a press conference here. "Someone said that it is time now to target on job growth", Kumar informed media.

"Had an extensive interaction with economists and experts on "Economic Policy- the Road Ahead", the Prime Minister said in a tweet.

The meeting came in the backdrop of latest estimates of national income by Central Statistics Office which showed that India's growth is expected to slow down to a four- year low of 6.5 per cent this fiscal, the lowest under the Modi-led government. Several cabinet ministers also attended the meeting.

In his intervention, the Prime Minister thanked various participants for their suggestions and observations, on various aspects of the economy. It was 7.5 percent in 2014-15.

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