Thu, 02 Feb 2023

New Delhi [India], November 29 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chaired the pre-Budget consultation meetings for Budget 2023-24 held in virtual mode from November 21-28, 2022. The pre-Budget meetings were concluded here on Monday.

More than 110 invitees representing seven stakeholder groups participated in eight meetings scheduled during this period. The stakeholder groups include representatives and experts from agriculture and agro-processing industry; industry, infrastructure and climate change; financial sector and capital markets; services and trade; social sector; trade unions and labour organisations and economists, according to a statement from the finance ministry.

Union Ministers of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary and Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, Finance Secretary TV Somanathan; DEA Secretary Ajay Seth; Chief Economic Advisor V Anantha Nageswaran; DIPAM Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey; Financial Services Secretary Vivek Joshi; Corporate Affairs Secretary Manoj Govil; Revenue Officer on Special Duty Sanjay Malhotra, and senior officers from the ministry of finance were also present during the meetings. Secretaries of other ministries/departments concerned participated through online mode.

The representatives of the stakeholder groups made a number of suggestions for the forthcoming Budget that included mechanism for green certification to help MSMEs, urban employment guarantee programme to boost employment generation in urban areas, rationalisation of income tax, creation of innovation clusters, schemes for improving domestic supply chains, reduction of taxes on electric vehicle, introduction of electric vehicle (EV) policy and measures to promote India as a hub for green hydrogen.

Other suggestions were on social sector entrepreneurship fund for social impact companies, training and accreditation of care economy workers, portable social benefit for children, National Regulatory Authority for water and sanitation, coverage of unorganised workers under Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), the continuation of public capex, fiscal consolidation and lower customs duties, among others.

The finance minister thanked the participants for sharing their valuable suggestions and assured that suggestions would be carefully considered while preparing the Budget 2023-24.

The representatives of trade unions who attended the 7th pre-Budget 2023 consultation were Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh All India Organising Secretary B Surendran; National Front of Indian Trade Unions General Secretary Virat Jaiswal, Trade Union Co-ordination Centre National General Secretary Sheo Prasad Tiwari; ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team (DWT) for South Asia Deputy Director Satoshi Sasaki; CII National Committee on Industrial Relations Co-Chairman and Employers Federation of India Past President Pradeep Bhargava.

FICCI Corporate Member and AIOE Past President Sanjay Bhatia, The Federation of Association of Small Industries of India National President Piyush Raj Verma and National Skill Development Corporation CEO Ved Mani Tiwari also attended the meeting virtually.

Some central trade unions had on Friday requested Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to hold a physical pre-Budget meeting on Monday. The representatives of these central unions, namely INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC, didn't attend the consultation with the finance minister today. (ANI)

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