Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley holds Pre-Budget consultations with Finance Ministers of States/ UTs….
The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley said that the world economy is passing through a difficult phase and is quite fragile. He said though this has also affected us especially our exports yet Indian economy is able to emerge as one of the fastest growing economy in the world. The Finance Minister referred to the Prime Minister’s idea of “Team India” constituting of the Centre and the States and reiterated the strong belief that “India grows when the States grow”. He stated that the multifarious reforms initiated by the Government of India in recent past would be taken forward in the coming months and urged the States to work together for putting India on the high growth path. He hoped that additional allocation of resources to the States/UTs after implementation of 14th Finance Commission recommendations would be optimally utilised especially for the benefit of the poor and downtrodden section of society as well as for building infrastructure. He commended the recent efforts made by many States in inviting foreign investments. He expressed hope that the growth momentum generated would catch further pace in coming months.
The Finance Minister was making his Opening Remarks during his pre-budget consultations with the Finance Ministers of States and UTs with legislature here today. The meeting was attended among others by the Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Dy. CM of NCT Delhi, 16 Finance Ministers/ Ministers representing their States/UTs and Senior Officers from the States/UTs.From the Central Government, along with the Union Finance Minister, those attended today’s Meeting included Shri Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Finance, Shri Ratan P. Watal, Finance Secretary, Shri Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs(DEA),Dr Hasmukh Adhia, Revenue Secretary, Ms Anjuli Chib Duggal, Secretary, Department of Financial Services(DFS), Dr Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) and other senior officers of the Ministry of Finance.
Therafter, various suggestions were made by the Ministers/Officers reprersentating different States/UTs.Many of those suggestions were general in nature and most of them were State specific.Most of them gave their suggestions in writing as well to the Finance Minister. Common suggestions made during the meeting included more focus on agriculture which has suffered in last two years due to inadequate monsoon, continuation of certain social development oriented Centrally Sponsored Schemes such as Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, ICDS, National Rural Health Mission etc on the old pattern as many States are unable to sustain them from their own resources. Other general suggestions included payment of CST arrears and schemes/incentives for promotion of dairy development along with agriculture in the country among others.
The Finance Minister assured the States that the suggestions made by them in the meeting and the written memorandum submitted by them would be examined and suitably considered in the Budget proposals for 2016-17.