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Nirmala Sitharaman crowd sources ideas for FY20 budget

New Delhi

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is crowdsourcing ideas for the FY20 budget in a bid to make her first budget as inclusive and broad-based as possible.

Sitharaman said in a twitter post on Thursday that she was going through many of the ideas being shared in various media platforms.

The move could enrich the ideas before the finance ministry and help review some of its plans in the light of fresh suggestions. “Grateful for every thought/idea that’s being shared by scholars, economists and enthusiasts through print, electronic, and on social media. I read many of them; also, my team carefully collates them for me. Value every bit. Thanks. Please keep them coming,” said Sitharaman in the post.

Earlier, the Modi government had invited suggestions for budget FY17 from people through the MyGov portal. The idea was to foster the spirit of ‘Jan Bhagidari’ (people’s participation) and to make the budget-making exercise more transparent. The Modi administration, which returned to power in the national polls this year with a landslide victory has several socio-economic challenges to tackle. It has to add momentum to a slowing down economy and to deliver on its promise of doubling farmers’ income. It also faces the task of multiplying quality jobs that are created in the economy at a time the nature of work itself is changing on account of automation and changes in technology.

Data released by the National Statistics Office on 31 May showed that Asia’s third-largest economy had expanded at 6.8% in FY19, slower than the 7.2% in FY18. It however had some silver lines — manufacturing output and construction activities expanded faster in the just-concluded fiscal year from the year-ago period. A slowing-down economy and tax revenue shortfall will also mean policy makers have to explore new ways of raising resources to finance welfare schemes.

Earlier this week, industry executives sought tax cuts, lower interest rates and bold reforms in land acquisition and labour laws in a blueprint they prepared to aid the Modi administration in boosting economic growth.

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