From PM economic council to Niti Aayog, growing disquiet over Govt tight fist

From PM economic council to Niti Aayog, growing disquiet over Govt tight fist

As Per Reports , Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that she is open to “the need for further stimulus” and its timing.

That may not be much of an assurance given the growing sense of disquiet in expert bodies including the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, the Niti Aayog and the Chief Economic Advisor’s office.

Several policy-influencers in these bodies are befuddled at the Central government’s aversion to spend more now despite their unanimous view that a fiscal stimulus — sooner than later — will place India better to take advantage of the major reforms being pushed in agriculture and labour.

In at least four meetings that Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired over 10 days between the end of June and early July, The Indian Express has learnt, members of his EAC, Niti Aayog and the CEA’s office, made presentations with participation from senior officials in the PM’s office, the Finance Ministry and the Commerce Ministry.

“There was near unanimity of views on two aspects: i) fiscal expansion or increased spending, and ii) reforms in the financial sector, including stake sale in public sector banks. Key Cabinet Ministers including Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat were present. The messaging was clear — Modi seemed to be building a political consensus within his Cabinet on spending,” said one of the persons present in the meeting, who did not wish to be named.

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