New Delhi, December 28: Expressing their support for the November 8 demonetisation of high-value currency that has resulted in a major cash crunch, a group of experts on Tuesday told Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Addressing economists at Niti Aayog's meeting on 'Economic Policy - The Road Ahead', Prime Minister Modi said that a change in the budget cycle would have an impact on the real economy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said advancing the date of budget presentation would help getting funds authorised for different sectors at the start of the financial year. "All the speakers stressed the need to bring workers and activity into the formal sector," Niti Aayog’s Vice Chairnman Arvind Panagariya said in reference to the stated aims of the November 8 demonetisation announcement for curbing corruption, black money, counterfeit currency and terror financing."The date of budget presentation is being advanced so that expenditure is authorised by the time the new financial year begins," the Prime Minister said. The government is proposing to present the budget for 2017-18 on February 1 instead of the regular date of February 28. Also, there will be no separate railway budget for the next fiscal as the government has decided to merge it with the general budget.
Modi said under the existing budget calendar, the authorisation of expenditure comes with the onset of the monsoon which results in government programmes remaining relatively inactive in the productive pre-monsoon months. Seeking views of the economists for the forthcoming budget on areas such job creation, agriculture, skill development and education, Modi underlined the need for engaging the youth for speeding up economic development.
During the meeting with the Prime Minister, economists shared their views on various themes such as agriculture, job creation, taxation, education, digital technology, housing, tourism, banking, governance reform, data driven policy and future steps for growth.
Farm sector experts suggested incentivising states to undertake market reforms, create corpus fund for promoting farm mechanisation and micro irrigation, and provide interest subvention for term loans, among others, to double farm income by 2022.
The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya, and senior officers from the Union Government, among others. The economists and experts who were present included Pravin Krishna, Sukhpal Singh, Vijay Paul Sharma, Neelkanth Mishra, Surjit Bhalla, Pulak Ghosh, Govinda Rao, Madhav Chavan, N K Singh, Vivek Dehejia, Pramath Sinha, Sumit Bose and TN Ninan.