BJP leaders to meet officials, economists to talk growth, demand slowdown

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Some members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will on Saturday meet officials, including NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar, former commerce and railway minister Suresh Prabhu and prominent economists to discuss the current growth, demand and consumption slowdown in the Indian economy. 

Former chief economic advisor Arvind Virmani and State Bank of India’s group chief economic advisor Soumya Kanti Ghosh are likely to attend the event. 

Gopal Krishna Agarwal, BJP national spokesperson for economic affairs, confirmed the development to Business Standard. 

“We have invited some people. It will be an in-house meeting. We will be discussing economic challenges. The deliberations will be for our internal consumption, and we will not be making any representation to the government,” he said. 

Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of meetings between the Prime Minister’s Office and other departments, as well as between Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and various sectors. 

On Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and PMO officials met Sitharaman and senior finance ministry officials. 

Automobiles, fast-moving consumer goods, steel, textiles, and overall exports, and other sectors and the demand, wage and consumption squeeze in the economy were discussed. 

Officials aware of the deliberations said plans were being firmed up for any overall stimulus package or sector-specific measures, which are not ruled out. The broad consensus was that steps will be taken by the government to arrest the slowdown in the economy. 

Sitharaman and the officials also briefed the PM about the series of meetings they had with various sectors the week before that. The minister, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur and officials had held meetings with bankers, micro, medium and small enterprises, automobile sector representatives, industry bodies, investors and market participants and real estate companies and home owners.

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