A Brainstorming session on ideas for Budget 2016-17 under the chairmanship of Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley was organized at NITI Aayog today. Economists, academicians and business editors including Subir Gokarn, Ajit Ranade, Sajjid Chinoy, Vallabh Bhansali, Neelkanth Mishra, TA Ninan, Bakul Dholakia, Rajiv Lall, Tushar Poddar , Urijit Patel, the chief Economic Advisor Dr Arvind Subramanium and senior officials from the Finance Ministry and NITI Aayog attended the meet.

In his opening remarks, the Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, Shri Arvind Panagariya outlined the steps already taken and those underway by the Center and states to improve investment climate in the country. the emphasis mainly was on the measures to improve the Ease of Doing Business, opening up of the economy, the FDI in insurance and defence, auctions in coal and mineral mines, skill development, infrastructure, labour market reforms and modern bankruptcy law.

The participating economists shared their ideas and the vision for 2016-17 Budget. They appreciated that the Government has initiated this discussion early in the budget cycle. The senior economists told that such an exercise should be used as an opportunity to take stock of the progress made by the Government in the 6 ½ months of the current fiscal.

Summing up the discussions, the Finance Minister welcomed the suggestions from the economists and assured them of further interactions before the finalization of budget proposals.