Budget 2021: PM Narendra Modi to interact with economists today; Rajiv Kumar, Amitabh Kant in attendance
Ahead of the Budget 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with economists and sectoral experts on Friday to discuss provisions that could be included in the upcoming budget. The move by the Prime Minister is reportedly said to come in the wake of the uncertainty created in the market due to Covid-19.
This virtual meet, organised by the government think-tank Niti Aayog, will also be attended by Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar and Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
"The Prime Minister will meet economists on Friday to seek their inputs for the next budget," DNA news website quoted as a government official telling this to PTI on condition of anonymity.
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This comes as India`s First Advance Estimate of national income on Thursday showed a contraction of 7.7 per cent in real GDP for FY 21. On a year-on-year basis, Asia`s third largest economy had grown by 4.2 per cent in 2019-20.
"Real GDP or GDP at Constant Prices (2011-12) in the year 2020-21 is likely to attain a level of Rs 134.40 lakh crore, as against the provisional estimate of GDP for the year 2019-20 of Rs 145.66 lakh crore, released on May 31, 2020," the First Advance Estimates of National Income for financial year 2020-21 said.
"The growth in real GDP during 2020-21 is estimated at -7.7 per cent as compared to the growth rate of 4.2 per cent in 2019-20," it added.
As per the estimate, real GVA at basic prices is estimated at Rs 123.39 lakh crore in 2020-21, as against Rs 133.01 lakh crore in 2019-20, showing a contraction of 7.2 per cent.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has a tough job ahead of her as she prepares the budget for this fiscal starting April 2021.
The government's spending plans particularly on infrastructure and social sectors as well as relief to sections hit by the pandemic and lockdown will dictate the pace of recovery, PTI quoted analysts as saying.
The Cabinet has already approved strategic sale, along with transfer of management control, in over 25 public sector companies, including Air India, BPCL, Pawan Hans, Scooters India, Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML), Shipping Corporation, Cement Corporation, and some steel plants of SAIL.
The process of sale of BPCL and Air India is ongoing and the government has received ‘multiple expressions of interest’ in these two companies. Sitharaman mentioned that the government has taken several measures to support the economy but no amount of intervention will be adequate to deal with the crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Union Budget is to be presented on February 1, 2021.
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