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‘Robust Economic Agenda Awaits New Govt: NK Singh, Finance Commission

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The new government at the Centre will have a ‘fairly robust’ economic agenda and need to support fiscal integrity and reforms, Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission, Mr N K Singh said at an ASSOCHAM conference.
Sharing his outlook at the ASSOCHAM National Conference on Fiscal Policy Roadmap, Mr Singh said “Fiscal reforms will be an important ingredient of the new government”.
He said it would be on the wish list of any serious economist that the “new government will put its weight behind fiscal rectitude” which is an important ingredient of long – term growth and macro-economic stability.
The 15th Finance Commission Chairman said this after ASSOCHAM President Mr B K Goenka, stated in his welcome speech that the  fiscal reforms would be the top agenda for any incoming government.
Addressing the ASSOCHAM conference, less than a week before results of the Lok Sabha elections Mr Singh said labour laws were very complex and need to revisited along with dispute settlement and processes of land acquisition.
He said, “What is haunting us is not the absence of fiscal rules, but the presence of compliance to fiscal rules.”
Referring to economic challenges, Mr Singh said, the central worry is revival of investment and getting the growth trajectory back. “The fact is private investment remains muted. Need a big burst to move on this”.
He said India has moved to a rule- based inflation target to which RBI bound by it.”I see a much happier correlation and symmetry of monetary and fiscal policy”.
The ASSOCHAM President, Mr Goenka  said the global economic scenario has also changed significantly over the last few years. “China is leaving the space, India has a huge opportunity to fill that gap. It will also enable us to fulfill the huge employment demand to sustain the growth momentum”.
Mr Goenka further said it is necessary to put in place the roadmap for a fiscal policy which is progressive and prudent, and at the same time, covers the needs of various segments of our economy.
Mr Vineet Agarwal, Vice President said; Industry have a big stake in impressing upon the policy makers to follow a prudent fiscal path so that the quality of public expenditure ensures equitable growth, quality employment, social infrastructure. The public expenditure alone may not suffice, but it plays a key role in charting a way forward even for the private sector investment. After all, the direction of the public expenditure, reflects priorities of the government of the day and we in the industry have to walk along.
Dr Charan Singh, CEO EGRO Foundation, Chairman, ASSOCHAM National Council on Banking and Non-Executive Chairman, Punjab & Sind Bank highlighted the new government challenges like increase growth and employment, maintain fiscal discipline from a long term perspective,  also maintain international ratings, take private sector along in India’s growth trajectory. Also, project a responsible and practical roadmap.
In his address at the ASSOCHAM-EGROW Foundation joint national conference on ‘Fiscal Policy Roadmap,’ former Chief Economic Adviser, Dr Arvind Virmani spoke about the impact of global uncertainties in the Indian economy .

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