Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said the government is committed to fiscal discipline, and that the sharp decline in international oil prices and government initiatives would help keep the current account deficit (CAD) at comfortable levels.
Addressing a pre-budget meeting with economists, Jaitley said that while the global economic situation is still facing critical challenges, the NDA government is committed to rebuilding investor confidence, especially for the infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.
He said the government has taken several measures to revive growth adding that with inflation under control, macro-economy stability has improved.
Economists who attended the meeting included Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Partha Mukhopadhyay of the Centre for Policy Research, Errol D’Souza from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Ajit Ranade of the Aditya Birla Group and Sonal Varma of Nomura.
“We stressed that focus must be given to the domestic market and consumption as the global economy is still to pick up,” said one economist who was present in the meeting. Major suggestions include focus on boosting growth, containing inflation, rationalisation of subsidies, containing fiscal deficit and above all, bringing back the investors’ confidence.
It was also suggested that a single-window system be implemented, both at the Centre and state-level, to ease doing business. “The Centre and states must be on the same page,” the economist said, adding a mechanism must be put in place to ensure effective implementation of decisions upto grass root level.