Economic policy

Chintan Shivir: Congress calls for economic policy reset after liberalization : The Tribune India


Tribune press service

Aditi Tandon

Udaipur, May 14

Congress on Saturday called for a reset of economic policy after liberalization, saying the time had come to examine global and domestic factors to recalibrate the economic paradigm.

“We are not backing down on liberalisation. We are making progress after liberalization taking into account global and domestic factors,” said former finance minister and chairman of the Chintan Shivir Congress Committee on the Economy, P Chidambaram.

He also called for a reset of Center-State relations, pointing to the fragile financial health of most States, saying, “Trust between the Center and the States has broken down and that was true of the relationship between the Center and even the BJP-led states”.

He recalled the era of liberalization in 1991 and the huge benefits the country reaped in terms of wealth creation, new businesses and new entrepreneurs, a huge middle class, millions of jobs, exports and lifting 27 million people out of poverty over a 10-year period. .

After 30 years, Chidambaram said it was now felt that given global and domestic developments, there might be a need to consider a reset in economic policies.

Congress would prepare a set of economic policies at the end of Chintan Shivir on Sunday and those policies would ultimately feed into the party’s election manifesto in 2024.

Chidambaram explained the need for an economic policy reset in terms of the urgency of addressing issues of growing inequality; extreme poverty among the poorest 10% of the population; India’s ranking in the Global Hunger Index 2021 (101 out of 116 countries); and evidence of widespread nutritional deficiencies in women and children.

“A comprehensive review would also be warranted by health and education outcomes as revealed by the Annual State of Education Report 2021 (ASER 2021) and the National Family Health Survey-5 ( NFHS-5).We believe that a recalibration of economic policies can influence health and education outcomes,” the congressional leader said.

Describing the state of India’s economy as a matter of extreme concern, Congress said the time had also come for a comprehensive review of fiscal relations between the Central States.

“The consequences of the poorly drafted and unfairly implemented GST laws by the Modi government in 2017 are there for all to see. The state fiscal situation is more fragile than ever and requires urgent corrective action,” Chidambaram said, describing the Chintan Shivir brainstorming process that began here on Friday.

Congress’s call for a policy reset signaled the party’s urge to increase spending on education, health, jobs and social security. Congress is also considering a legally guaranteed right to the job structure in party-run states and replicating the 2024 general election manifesto promise.

In 2019, he promised NYAY, a minimum income guarantee for the poor, although the program did not reap electoral benefits.

The Congress Working Committee will meet on Sunday to adopt six resolutions which dedicated thematic committees, leading the deliberations at Chintan Shivir, will adopt.

The resolutions will pave the way for what Congress will call a Nav Sankalp Resolution for Comprehensive Economic Recovery and Combat Readiness for the upcoming election.

Congress leader Sonia Gandhi has called for extraordinary reforms to address the current challenges of the ruling BJP.

With the GST compensation due to end on June 30 this year, Chidambaram requested its extension for another three years.