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Published On: Tue, Jan 23rd, 2018

“The forthcoming budget will be reform-oriented : Arvind Panagariya

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sakshipost_2017-08_89bb246d-325d-49b7-968c-07948dcacc67_aravindWASHINGTON/ NEW DELHI : Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not a populist who wants to win elections by offering governmental freebies to people and he would continue with the reformist economic agenda ahead of the 2019 general election, former Niti Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya said.

The Columbia University economist was delivering the first “New India” lecture at the Indian consulate in New York. The monthly lecture series will project the dynamism and potential of India before the city’s investment community, said Consul General Sandeep Chakrabarty.

“The forthcoming budget will be reform-oriented in my view. The PM has said that he would do what is right for the country,” Mr. Panagariya said, blaming the previous UPA government for the problems in the Indian economy.
“India is back on its growth trajectory and if the current government continues in office for a long time, and does not commit mistakes like the Congress, India will grow consistently for the next several decades,” he said.
“By all accounts, I have no doubt that (India) will get back to eight per cent plus (growth rate). India really today is probably the only game in the town,” he said.
Asked whether India could attain 10 percent growth, the economist said: “For India to achieve the double-digit growth, the country needs major reforms in labour and land acquisition laws. It also needs significant privatisation and a major reform of civil service, which is quite not sufficient to handle the large economy that India is now.”
Mr. Panagariya dismissed concerns about unemployment in India as exaggeration. ”Unemployment in India is not very high. Jobs are being created, but as the way policies were being adopted in India, in the end it gives very little incentive to employers to employ people in the formal sector,” he said.
In his recent interview to a Indian TV Chanel , Prime Minister Narendra Modi ruled out a populist Budget. He gave enough indications that the upcoming Budget will not be a populist one. According to him, it’s a myth that the common man expects freebies and sops from the government.
A lot of people expected the Budget to be populist given the upcoming elections in several states. This would also be the last full Budget before the next Lok Sabha elections.(The Hindu / with Agency Inputs ).

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