Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a critical two-day meeting during January 3-4 to review the five-year vision documents of various ministries and departments, a senior government official told FE. The meeting comes at a time when growth plunged to an over six-year low of 4.5% in the September quarter, with analysts warning that the economy is in the midst of a prolongued phase of slowdown.
As many as 10 ‘sectoral groups’ comprising secretaries of several departments will give presentations before the council of ministers, headed by Modi. Key ministers – including home minister Amit Shah, finance and corporate affairs minister Nirmala Sitharaman, transport and MSME minister Nitin Gadkari and commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal – are expected to attend the meeting, among others. Some of the ideas presented in these vision documents may find mention in the next Budget.
The economy is going through a critical phase. Citing growth concerns, Moody’s recently trimmed India’s sovereign rating outlook to ‘negative’ from ‘stable’. Industrial production shrank in September to an eight-year low, while eight core infrastructure industries witnessed their worst contraction at least since April 2005 in September. Exports declined in five of the first eight months of this fiscal, and banks, non-food credit growth was hovering around a two-year low until recently before slowing further.