Keen to encash on drop in oil prices and favourable global economic outlook, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today courted economists for ideas to make the ensuing budget growth-oriented and bring investors back.
At the meeting of the newly created NITI Aayog, Modi asked for their views on the state of economy, ways to perk up revenue mobilisation, expenditure rationalisation and suggestions to put India back on high growth path.Read our full coverage on Union Budget
"India must develop fast, taking advantage of current global environment, to meet the aspirations of the people," an official release quoting Modi said.
Sharply falling crude oil prices in the international market are likely to help India save a significant foreign exchange outgo. At the same time slowdown in the Chinese economy and Eurozone continuing recession presented India as an attractive investment destination as well as market.
As Prime Minister, it was Modi's first visit to NITI Aayog that has been created after abolishing socialist-era Planning Commission. In a follow up, Modi will meet Chief Ministers on Sunday.
He said an objective of NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog was to establish a dynamic institutional mechanism where "eminent individuals outside the government system" could contribute to policy making.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the meeting was organised with "some very eminent economists with regard to the state of economy and steps required to boost investment, growth and even specific suggestions with regard to the Union Budget".
Niti Aayog is a "think tank" also and today's meeting was in that context, Jaitley added.
The release further said Modi emphasised on the need for cooperative federalism, and added that he favoured healthy competition among states for development.