Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Automotive News, ET Auto

Former Vice-Chairman of the former Montek Singh Ahluwalia Planning Commission

India’s economy has bottomed out and the formal sector is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year, former vice-chairman of the former Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia said Thursday.

Addressing a virtual event, Ahluwalia said he was in favor of the National Monetization Pipeline (NMP) which will seek to unlock value in infrastructure assets in sectors ranging from electricity to road and utilities. railroads.

“One of the main positives is that the economy has actually bottomed out. And the formal sector could be back to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year, it will be different for different sectors, sectors. of services, etc., ”he said. noted.

Ahluwalia estimated that if the formal sector sees an economic rebound, then the informal sector will follow suit as well, adding that a healthy economic rebound occurs, when private sector investments also pick up.

India’s economy grew at a record 20.1% in the April-June quarter, helped by a very weak base last year and a sharp rebound in manufacturing and service sectors despite a devastating second wave of COVID-19 cases.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has lowered the country’s growth projection for the current fiscal year to 9.5% from 10.5% previously estimated, while the World Bank has forecast India’s economy to grow by 8.3% in 2021.

Regarding recent government measures on infrastructure, Ahluwalia said: “I am in favor of NPM, if it is done well it will be a good thing”.

Last month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a national monetization pipeline of Rs 6 lakh crore.

Responding to a question on reforms in the agricultural sector, he said modernization of agriculture is desirable.

“But the way this (the implementation of three agricultural laws by the Center) was handled, it created a huge amount of doubts and suspicions (among the farmers),” Ahluwalia said.

Hundreds of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping near Delhi’s borders since November last year, demanding that the Center repeal the three contentious farm laws.

The government and unions representing farmers, who are camping on the Delhi border to protest the three laws that they say will end public procurement of crops from MSP, held 11 rounds of talks, with the latest taking place on January 22. Talks broke down after widespread violence at a tractor rally protesting farmers on January 26.

Enacted in September 2020, the three agricultural laws were presented by the Center as major reforms in the agricultural sector that will cut out middlemen and allow farmers to sell their products all over the country.

Protesting farmers, on the other hand, expressed fear that the new laws could pave the way for the removal of the minimum support price safety cushion and the abolition of the mandi (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big business. .

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