Economists seek capital expenditure during pre-budget meet with FM

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Industry bodies, including the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), urged the government to increase capital expenditure in the upcoming budget. During the discussions, economists also highlighted on the need to boost capital expenditure…reports Asian Lite News

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chaired the first pre-budget meeting with leading economists in Delhi on Wednesday as part of pre-budget consultations for the General Budget 2024-25.

The discussions focused on critical issues such as boosting capital expenditure and reducing the fiscal deficit.

During the discussion, economists emphasized that the fiscal deficit will be further reduced in the upcoming budget, and the government is concentrating on policies to generate employment growth.

“The government has shown fiscal prudence and has controlled fiscal deficit. This time, revised estimates also show positive indications. The government has already stated that the fiscal deficit will be lower in the budget. At the same time, employment remained an important issue of discussion” said Ashwani Mahajan, National Co-convener of the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch.

On the demand for granting special status to some states, Mahajan added, “There’s nothing on special status for states. The government is already doing a lot on capital expenditure, with at least more than 3 per cent of GDP being spent on it.”

Industry bodies, including the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), urged the government to increase capital expenditure in the upcoming budget. During the discussions, economists also highlighted on the need to boost capital expenditure.

“It is very much in the discussion, that CapEx (Capital Expenditure) has driven or helped to drive the growth of the economy, which should be sustained. And private sector investment and consumption growth should also be sort of pushed to sustain this growth” said Nagesh Kumar, Director and Chief Executive of the Institute of Studies in Industrial Development.

The meeting was attended by the Finance Secretary, and the Secretaries of the Departments of Economic Affairs, Revenue, Financial Services, and Corporate Affairs, along with the Chief Economic Adviser of India.

These discussions with industry experts and economists are crucial as they lay the groundwork for the government’s fiscal policy and economic strategies in the forthcoming budget.

reparation for the upcoming Union Budget 2024-25 commenced in Delhi on Thursday. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has directed officials to initiate the budget preparation process, emphasizing the need for meticulous planning and comprehensive analysis.

This early start aims to ensure a well-structured budget that effectively addresses the country’s economic priorities and challenges. The collaborative efforts of the ministry’s team are expected to contribute to a robust and strategic financial plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

According to sources, the Union Budget for 2024-25 is likely to be tabled in Parliament by the third week of July. Earlier, on February 1, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the interim budget for 2024-2025 in Parliament due to the election year.

The Interim Budget is presented by a government that is either in a transition period or in its last year in office ahead of general elections. The purpose of the interim budget is to ensure the continuity of government expenditure and essential services until the new government can present a full-fledged budget after taking office.

Now, after the election results, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present her seventh budget in a row. It will also be the full budget for the year 2024-25.

In the February interim budget, the government focused on economic policies that foster growth, facilitate inclusive development, improve productivity, and create opportunities for various sections, while noting that it will pay utmost attention to the eastern region, including the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and West Bengal, to make them growth engines as part of the goal to make India a developed country by 2047.

In her second stint, Nirmala Sitharaman formally assumed charge as Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs on Wednesday morning.

She was greeted at the office in North Block by Finance Secretary TV Somanathan and other Secretaries of the Ministry of Finance and Corporate Affairs.

Nirmala Sitharaman, who has been a Union Minister in both the 2014 and 2019 Modi cabinets, took oath as Union Cabinet Minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new Union Council of Ministers on Sunday evening in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan, along with another 70 Council of Ministers. (ANI)

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