Haryana: On 'growth model’, government to consult economists

  • Navneet Sharma, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Feb 13, 2015 14:37 IST

In order to have its own, distinct imprint on development, the first-time Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Haryana has decided to consult well-known economists before deciding on the “growth model” for the state.

A group of top bureaucrats working in key sectors will brainstorm with economist Mukul G Asher, a professor in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, in Delhi on February 14 as part of the vision-setting exercise.

Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who suggested Prof Asher’s name, would also have a discussion with him the same day, according to sources.

The meeting to be attended over a dozen state bureaucrats would focus on the state of economy, finance and planning, agriculture and allies areas, industries, town and country planning and urban local bodies.

The officers have been asked to make detailed presentations on their respective areas, giving inputs on the policy framework, regulatory mechanism and future outlook.

“The meeting is a preliminary interaction. Next month, Prof Asher will give a talk, FOCUS WILL BE ON THE STATE’S DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY, EQUITABLE GROWTH, PARTICIPATIVE GOVERNANCE AND FUTURE POLICY FRAMEWORK, BESIDES SPURRING GROWTH. GOVT OFFICIAL suggesting a growth model for Haryana, to the political leadership and top officers of the state.

The focus will be on the state’s development strategy, equitable growth, participative governance and future policy framework in addition to initiatives required to spur growth,” a senior officer told HT.

Prof Asher, who received a doctorate in economics from Washington State University, has been a consultant on tax reforms and social security issues to World Bank, IMF, ADB and World Health Organisation.

There is a Gujarat connection also.

Prof Asher has been advisor to the Gujarat government in the past and had, in a detailed write-up on the state’s budget in 2012, described it as an “example of a 21st-century state policy document”.

Another state official said the government would hold discussions with some other economists also and seek their suggestions on fixing the state’s finances and its development strategy.

Like Haryana, the new BJP government in Maharastra is also consulting experts, economists and industry associations on the state’s economic policy, revenue mobilization and tackling debt burden, but its focus is primarily on the state budget for 2015-16.

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