Full-time fiscal stability council needed: Planning Commission Ex-Dep Chairman

A full-time professional fiscal stability council could be a major institutional reform needed for 8 per cent growth, said Former Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission of India, Montek Singh Ahluwalia at Budget Meet 2019 – an annual post-budget analysis conducted by United Way in Chennai recently.

The event witnessed a conglomeration of around 400 top economists, investors, financial experts and the business community of Chennai, setting off discussions on the pros and cons of the Union Budget and set strong expectations for the Government which will come into power post-2019 elections.

Former Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission of India, Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Speaking on the theme – ‘Election Year Budget: Are the obstacles behind us?’,  Ahluwalia said, “Maintaining fiscal balance is fundamental to having an 8 per cent growth. Setting up of a full-time professional fiscal stability council accountable to the Parliament would be a major institutional reform if done by the Government which comes into power.”

On the recent Union budget, he pointed out that the general election is an important event and the voters must evaluate 4 key aspects – slogans which capture the goal and imagination, specific targets and the programs and policies narrated to achieve them. Ahluwalia also raised questions as to why the industry is not creating more jobs while the data shows that not enough good quality employment is being created.

A panel discussion was also held on the various obstacles faced by the nation’s economy in recent times and whether the election year budget and the upcoming government will address them effectively. The discussion was led by Group Head- HDFC Bank, Rakesh Singh, and the panelists included SBI Fund Management CIO, Navneet Munot and Tata Asset Management CIO – Equities, Rahul Singh.
Lack of innovation and low investments in R&D compared to countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh was brought up as a point of concern implying that we as a country need to invest more in these aspects.

NT Bureau