Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will on Monday meet all chief ministers and state finance ministers to discuss ways to create a reform-focused business climate and further facilitate investments to help boost growth. In a tweet, the finance ministry said the virtual meeting on November 15 would be attended by Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary and Bhagwat Karad, besides secretaries of Government of India line ministries, chief secretaries and finance secretaries of states.
"Discussion to be centred on creating an enabling ecosystem for increased pro-active facilitation for investments besides topics of energizing growth, reforms, augmenting investments and creating a reform-focused business climate," the ministry tweeted. The meeting comes in the backdrop of strong economic recovery post the two COVID waves, and push by the central government to increase capital expenditure. The Centre believes that there is scope to capitalise on the positive sentiment of the private sector, with increasing demand, amid lower non-performing assets and banks willing to lend more.
Union Finance Secretary TV Somanathan had last week said that the focus of this interaction will be on state-level issues, opportunities and challenges, which will enable us to go to a higher trajectory of investment and growth. "There is capital expenditure from the government side, and there is a positive sentiment from the private sector side, though perhaps not fully translated into actual investment in big scale. Capital market activity indicates that a lot of investment is probably on the cards," Somanathan had said.
After a slowdown in economic growth due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first quarter of the current fiscal has seen a pickup in economic activity. Indian economy contracted 7.3 per cent in the last financial year after a 4 per cent growth in 2019-20. In the April-June quarter of the current fiscal, the economy grew 20.1 per cent. Besides, the first four months of FY 2021-22 have witnessed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of USD 64 billion. The IMF and World Bank peg India's GDP growth at about 9.5 per cent and 8.3 per cent, respectively, projecting India as one of the fastest-growing economies.