Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met the officials of Finance Ministry for the first time after taking over the finance portfolio, the news reports said.
He asked the officials to revive India’s struggling economy, as India is coping with a slowdown in the economic growth. PM Manmohan Singh took over the charge of the finance portfolio from the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee who resigned to contest for the forthcoming 14th Presidential elections.
The resignation of the Finance Minister came at a time when India’s economy was in complete doldrums. The officials present in the meeting included, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister- Mr. Pulok Chatterjee, Chief Economic Advisor- Dr. Kaushik Basu, Secretaries in the Finance Ministry, Mr.R Gopalan, Mr. RS Gujral, Mr. Sumit Bose, Mr. DK Mittal, Mohmd. Haleem Khan and other PMO officials.
Following are key points stressed by the Finance Minister in a brief of his address to the officials.
PM in his words:
“I am happy to meet all of you in a new context with me looking after the Finance Portfolio once again. Apart from a brief spell in 2008, I have been away from the details and nitty-gritty of Finance for a long time. Therefore, I depend on all of you to give me a sound advice on not just matters relating to Finance Ministry but all aspects the government and the economy as a whole.”
“At the current juncture, we are passing through challenging times economically. Inflation continues to be an issue, things are not rosy on the investment front, and the industrial performance is not satisfactory.”
- “I am also concerned about the way the exchange rate is going on the external front. Investor sentiment is down and the capital inflows are drying up.” He adds, “There are some external reasons and we need to work towards making our country resilient in meeting these external challenges.”
Prime Minister Singh also said there are many domestic reasons and there is need to address those quickly. He also said there is a need to work towards getting the economy on the right track and recommence the growth story of India.
He also stressed on the point that the finance ministry has a key role in developing the policies of the economy which are favorable for the growth of the economy and for the overall welfare of the nation. Finally, in the end he said, there is a need to revive the investor sentiment both internationally and domestically.
Highlights of some factors which need to be addressed as pointed out by the PM during a meeting with finance ministry officials:
Problems on the tax front needs to be looked into.
On the financial sector side, there is a need to improve matters relating to mutual funds industry.
- The insurance sector is undergoing a slowdown, which is not normal in the country and most largely the insurance requirements are not met.