What Should Be The Economic Priorities Of Finance Minister Sitharaman
Newly appointed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman takes charge at South Block, in New Delhi, Friday, May 31, 2019 (Source: PTI)

What Should Be The Economic Priorities Of Finance Minister Sitharaman

India’s new Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present her first budget on July 5. What should her economic priorities be at a time the nation’s GDP growth fell to its lowest in five years and unemployment rate is the highest in more than four decades.

Getting growth back on track is the biggest challenge but Sitharaman’s budget may not be able to deliver right away, according to Gautam Chikermane, vice president at Observer Research Foundation. But showing intent on economic reforms would be a great start, he told BloombergQuint during an interview. “She needs to show some form of policy continuity which has happened in the first innings of the Modi government.”

MK Venu, founding editor at the Wire, said her immediate priority will be to revive consumption demand since private investment has not picked up. The new finance minister, he said, may have to adjust taxes. “The Bharatiya Janata Party has already given enough to the farmers in the interim budget. How much leeway this government has to give in the hands of the people remains to be seen.”

Watch the full debate here:

Also read: India Gets First Woman Finance Minister in Years to Spur Economy

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