Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman chaired the pre-budget consultation meetings held in virtual mode from December 15 to 22.
More than 120 invitees representing seven stakeholder groups participated in eight meetings scheduled during this period for Budget 2022-23. The stakeholder groups included economists, representatives and experts from industry, agriculture, and agro-processing sectors, infrastructure, climate change, financial sector and capital markets, services and trade, social sector, trade unions, and labour organizations.
Union Ministers of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary and Dr Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, Finance Secretary TV Somanathan, Secretary, DEA, Ajay Seth, Secretary, DIPAM, Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary, Financial Services, Debashish Panda, Secretary, Corporate Affairs, Rajesh Verma, Secretary, Revenue, Tarun Bajaj and senior officers from the ministry of finance were also present during the meetings.
The stakeholder groups made several suggestions on various issues, including increased R&D spending, infrastructure status for digital services, incentives for hydrogen storage and fuel cell development, rationalisation of income tax slabs, and investments in online safety measures, among others.
The participants lauded the government’s efforts in efficient handling of the economy during the pandemic and retaining India’s status as the fastest growing major economy. Sitharaman thanked the participants for sharing their valuable suggestions and assured them that suggestions would be carefully considered while preparing the budget.