Formal sector to be at pre-Covid levels: Montek Singh Ahluwalia
ECONOMY & POLICY

Formal sector to be at pre-Covid levels: Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Former deputy chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia told the media that the Indian economy has bottomed out and that the formal sector is likely to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year.

Speaking at a virtual event, Ahluwalia said that he supports the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), which will seek to unlock value in infrastructure assets ranging from power to roads and railways.

Despite a devastating second wave of Covid-19 cases, the Indian economy grew by a record 20.1% in the April-June quarter, helped by a very weak base from last year and a sharp rebound in the manufacturing and services sectors.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cut its growth forecast for the current fiscal year from 10.5% to 9.5%, while the World Bank predicts 8.3% growth for India in 2021.

Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister, announced a Rs 6 lakh crore National Monetisation Pipeline last month. Since November last year, hundreds of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh, have camped near Delhi's borders, demanding that the centre repeal three contentious farm laws.

The government and farmers' meetings have held 11 rounds of talks, the most recent on January 22. Farmers have been camping at Delhi's border in protest of three laws they say will end state procurement of crops at MSP. On January 26, protesting farmers staged a tractor rally, which resulted in widespread violence.

The three farm bills, which will go into effect in September 2020, are expected to be major reforms in the agriculture sector, removing middlemen and allowing farmers to sell their goods anywhere in the country.

Protesting farmers, on the other hand, have expressed concerns that the new laws will allow for the elimination of the minimum support price safety net and the elimination of the mandi or wholesale market system, leaving them at the mercy of large corporations.

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Also read: United Nations’ report cites 7.2% growth in Indian economy

Former deputy chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia told the media that the Indian economy has bottomed out and that the formal sector is likely to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year. Speaking at a virtual event, Ahluwalia said that he supports the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), which will seek to unlock value in infrastructure assets ranging from power to roads and railways. Despite a devastating second wave of Covid-19 cases, the Indian economy grew by a record 20.1% in the April-June quarter, helped by a very weak base from last year and a sharp rebound in the manufacturing and services sectors. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cut its growth forecast for the current fiscal year from 10.5% to 9.5%, while the World Bank predicts 8.3% growth for India in 2021. Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister, announced a Rs 6 lakh crore National Monetisation Pipeline last month. Since November last year, hundreds of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh, have camped near Delhi's borders, demanding that the centre repeal three contentious farm laws. The government and farmers' meetings have held 11 rounds of talks, the most recent on January 22. Farmers have been camping at Delhi's border in protest of three laws they say will end state procurement of crops at MSP. On January 26, protesting farmers staged a tractor rally, which resulted in widespread violence. The three farm bills, which will go into effect in September 2020, are expected to be major reforms in the agriculture sector, removing middlemen and allowing farmers to sell their goods anywhere in the country. Protesting farmers, on the other hand, have expressed concerns that the new laws will allow for the elimination of the minimum support price safety net and the elimination of the mandi or wholesale market system, leaving them at the mercy of large corporations. Image SourceAlso read: United Nations’ report cites 7.2% growth in Indian economy

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