Getting ready for the new finance minister, North Block mandarins have prepared lengthy presentations highlighting key fix areas for the economy including fiscal and current account deficits, high inflation, reviving growth and job creation.
“The secretaries of each departments in the finance ministry have prepared a policy brief for the new minister listing out problems that need to be addressed,” said a senior finance ministry official.
While the passage of the Budget 2014-15 will be the main job for the new finance minister, officials pointed out that not all issues can be addressed through the Budget exercise. Further, the new minister will also have to understand the issues in the economy before he can begin addressing them.
On top of the to-do list, according to officials, is the fiscal and current account deficits and a strategy to sustainably control them must be worked out.
Former finance minister P Chidambaram had ensured that the fiscal deficit was kept in check at 4.6 per cent of the GDP in FY 14 while the CAD was curbed at $ 32 billion.
“We have listed out the measures that have already been taken in each of these areas and have also made some suggestions. The rest will depend on the new government and minister,” said the official.
The policy pitch comes at a time when India is facing sub-five per cent growth for two consecutive years even as rating agencies are closely monitoring developments in the economy after the just concluded elections.
The presentation has also pointed out that the new government will have to work on reviving growth and boosting manufacturing sector that is necessary for job creation. The finance ministry has also made a case for controlling inflation, especially in food prices through not only monetary but also fiscal measures and supply side corrections. Rising bad loans and poor asset quality in the banking sector is another area of concern that has been highlighted by the ministry.