Modi Discusses Economic Growth Strategies with Economists Ahead of Budget

Prime Minister Narendra Modi engaged in discussions with prominent economists on Thursday to explore strategies for enhancing all-round economic growth. The discussions took place ahead of his government’s first post-election budget, scheduled for July 23rd. The primary focus of the discussions was on accelerating growth and employment across all sectors and regions, addressing the critical challenges confronting the Indian economy.

With a significant portion of India’s population falling within the working age bracket, the Modi administration prioritizes generating sufficient employment opportunities. The need to address challenges posed by climate change’s impact on agriculture and increasing automation further emphasizes the importance of augmenting employment opportunities. Moreover, geopolitical uncertainties add complexity to the pursuit of sustained economic growth.

The discussions with economists indicate that jobs and economic growth will be central themes in the upcoming Budget 2024. Recent data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reveals that India’s economy added approximately 46.7 million jobs in the 2023-24 fiscal year, raising the total employment to 643.3 million.

The conversations extended to the rural economy, exploring methods to increase rural incomes, recognizing their crucial role in driving consumption and the manufacturing sector. Prime Minister Modi highlighted the insights gleaned from the discussions in a social media post.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and NITI Aayog Vice-Chairperson Suman Beri also participated in the discussions. An economist from a leading consulting firm anticipates that the 2024-25 Union Budget will prioritize job creation and potentially increase funding for health, education, and skills development. The economist further emphasizes the need for upskilling the youth, who constitute a substantial portion of the population, given the transformative impact of technology on the nature of work.

The RBI projects that India’s economy, having expanded by 8.2% in 2023-24, will experience growth of 7.2% in the 2024-25 fiscal year. This forecast is bolstered by recovering private consumption, sustained investment activity, the government’s continued focus on capital expenditure, and improved financial positions of corporations and banks.

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