PM meet with economists, experts; focus on farmer

PM Modi to interact with leading economists today

While NITI Aayog claims to have recovered that statistics on lack of employment are exaggerated, there was a general agreement among all country's leading economists during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's interaction with them that employment generation was the means to go to the fore.

According to the statement, the discussion will focus on six broad themes: Macroeconomic Balances, Agriculture and Rural Development, Urban Development, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Employment, Manufacturing and Exports and Health and Education.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley, transport minister Nitin Gadkari, agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh and secretaries of various departments, also attended the meeting, said Kumar.

NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar on Wednesday said the government will now focus on raising the incomes of farmers.

"But these number are startling and quite in contrast with Labour Bureau numbers". Kumar also said there was overwhelming support for the National Medical Council bill from the experts.

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The meeting comes against the backdrop of data which showed the economy is estimated to grow 6.5%, a four-year low in 2017-18, hurt by the impact of demonetisation and rollout issues linked to GST. Kumar said he cannot share further details on specific suggestions made by the participants since many of these could have a bearing on the upcoming Union Budget that will be presented on February 1. It was 7.5 percent in 2014-15.

In his intervention, the PM thanked various participants for their suggestions and observations on various aspects of the economy.

After the presentations, PM Modi assured the experts that the government will "attempt to make the best out of their informative suggestions and views which were presented in new ways through this initiative".

Rajiv Kumar said it was also pointed out that educated unemployment among young people in the country may be as high as 20 per cent. Another big idea discussed during the meeting was to adopt stronger export-driven growth strategy and increasing income of farmers.

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