To suggest measures for the economic revival of Gujarat amid Covid-19 pandemic, the state government has formed a six-member panel of experts to be headed by former union finance secretary Hasmukh Adhia.
A decision in this regard was taken by the state cabinet in its weekly meeting, on Wednesday, chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. The committee has been mandated to submit its interim report in two weeks and final report in a month’s time.
Other members of the committee include former professor of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Ravindra Dholakia, senior tax consultant Mukesh Patel, financial expert Pradeep Shah, retired IAS officer Kirit Shelat. Vice-chairman and managing director of Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) M Thennarasan will be the member secretary of the committee.
Details of the committee were given by secretary to the CM Ashwani Kumar through social media.
“The scope of the committee’s work area includes making sector-specific recommendations after getting estimate of financial losses. It will review the economic situation and will suggest corrective steps. The committee will give suggestions on easy availability of labourers in the state. It will also give recommendations for policy formation to bring investment and attract foreign investment to Gujarat. The committee will suggest all the measures for the short term, medium term and long term economic and financial revival (of Gujarat),” said Kumar.
He also said the decision to form the committee was taken to ensure that Gujarat continues to remain No. 1 – on industrial front, trade front, social front and financial front – as soon it comes out of the global pandemic.
An official release on the issue said, “…the state government… has taken a number of welfare measures in areas of food security, healthcare and sector specific activities. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the state and its economy to a large extent. The demand and supply chain have been crippled and the informal sector and the MSMEs have taken a major blow. Gujarat has a large migrant workforce. However, the pandemic has compelled them to return to their respective home states. The disruption caused by Covid-19 has affected an industrially developed state like Gujarat, which has in turn affected the nation too.”
The release further said, “The committee will assess sectoral and sub-sectoral losses and provide necessary measures for revival. The committee will also review the fiscal status and budgetary position of Gujarat and provide suitable suggestions for improvement…”
The cabinet meeting – held through video conferencing — was also attended by Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and other ministers.
Kumar said that the cabinet also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for announcing a package of Rs 20 lakh crore for the country to recover from the impact of the pandemic. With that, he added, the cabinet also devised strategy for expeditious implementation of the package in the state as soon as it is announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.