The government’s focus next year will be on repairing the economy in order to promote growth and the new divestment policy for strategic sectors will be far more ambitious than expected, Department of Economic Affairs Secretary Tarun Bajaj said Friday. The focus of the upcoming Budget would be on boosting infrastructure investment to support growth.
“Our emphasis is on economy. We are going to see improved economic conditions in the current year. Having said that, let me say it has been a very very difficult year … our emphasis would be to see that next year how much of the economy can be repaired and we go back to a robust economic growth,” he said at the FICCI annual general meeting through a video-conference. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be speaking at this conference on Saturday.
“We are positive. We are cautiously optimistic on the economic front. We are hoping that the third and the fourth quarter will be better than the first and second,” Bajaj said. India’s economy shrank for the second straight quarter through September, recording a 7.5 per cent contraction in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in July-September, as compared to the unprecedented 23.9 per cent year-on-year contraction in April-June.
There are expectations that in the Budget next year, the government will be stepping up capital expenditure to support growth. Bajaj said the government will take “all steps” to ensure that the economy goes up from here and significant work has been done towards a Development Finance Institution (DFI) that will support financing for infrastructure sector.
Speaking at the same event, Guruprasad Mohapatra, secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, said the government is trying to build a technology-based single window platform that will significantly reduce compliance burden on companies.
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