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FM wraps up pre-Budget consultations, over 170 take part in 15 virtual meetings

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FM wraps up pre-Budget consultations, over 170 take part in 15 virtual meetings

New Delhi, Dec 23 (IANS) Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday concluded pre-budget consultation meetings for budget 2021-22 held in virtual mode.<br /><br /><br />More than 170 invitees representing 9 stakeholder groups participated in 15 meetings scheduled between December 14 and 23.<br /><br />The stakeholder groups include financial and capital markets; health, education and rural development; water and sanitation; trade union and labour organisations; industry, services and trade; infrastructure, energy and climate change sector; agriculture and agro-processing industry; industrialists; and economists.<br /><br />Union Minister of State for Finance&amp;amp;Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur, Finance Secretary A. B. Pandey; Secretary, DIPAM, Tuhin Kanta Pandey; Secretary, Expenditure, T. V. Somanathan; Secretary, DEA, Tarun Bajaj; Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian and senior officers from Ministry of Finance and other Ministries also participated in the meetings.<br /><br />The stakeholder groups made several suggestions on various subjects that included fiscal policy, including taxation; bond markets; insurance; infrastructure spending; health and education budget; social protection; skilling; water harvesting and conservation; sanitation; MGNREGS; public distribution system; ease of doing business; production linked investment scheme, exports; branding of 'Made in India' products, public sector delivery mechanisms; innovation, green growth; non-polluting sources of energy and vehicles, among others.<br /><br />The participants lauded the government's efforts to flatten the Covid-19 curve and a strong recovery in economic growth in the second quarter of 2020-21, a Finance Ministry statement on the meetings said. They further stated that India is among very few countries whose economic activity has risen with declining pandemic induced fatalities, the statement added.<br /><br />Sitharaman said that all suggestions will be carefully considered while preparing the Budget 2021-22.<br /><br />.