The Congress has postponed its proposed protests to highlight economic slowdown thrice since September, but two think-tanks associated with the party have got their act together to bring Opposition politicians, former bureaucrats and academics on one platform to discuss the issue in the national capital on November 29.
A day-long ‘national conclave on the economy’ is to be held at Jawahar Bhavan, jointly organised by Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies and the Samruddha Bharat Foundation.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh is likely to attend, and so are West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, Kerala FM Thomas Isaac, Communist Party of India (Marxist) chief Sitaram Yechury, Communist Party of India’s D Raja, economists Montek Singh Ahluwalia and M Govinda Rao, and former finance secretary Arvind Mayaram.
The day-long conclave will have discussions on five themes — the state of India’s economy, addressing India’s job crisis, the state of industry, agrarian crisis, and restoring fiscal federalism.
The last theme on fiscal federalism will have Ahluwalia, former Jammu & Kashmir FM Haseeb Drabu and Punjab FM Manpreet Singh Badal, besides Mitra and Isaac, as participants. They will discuss issues related to the goods and services tax (GST), revenue sharing between the Centre and states and “unilateral change of terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission”.
According to the organisers, this outcome-oriented conclave will identify key economic challenges facing India, propose fresh approaches to further the country’s economic promise and to kick-start a nationwide dialogue on the issue.
Other participants include Congress Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Gowda, former Karnataka minister Krishnabyre Gowda and trade unionist Ashok Dhawale.