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Mumbai losing faith in Budget: Milind Deora

Milind Deora

Milind Deora   | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe.

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Former Lok Sabha MP urges Nirmala Sitharaman to visit the city and hear stakeholders

Congress leader and former Lok Sabha MP from South Mumbai Milind Deora has urged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to visit the country’s commercial capital ahead of the February 1 Union Budget, to get a true picture of the state of the economy.

“Restricting policy-making only to the select few who have access to New Delhi reeks of arrogance and imprudence,” Mr. Deora said in a statement on Tuesday, arguing it is still not too late to make amends.

Recalling his meetings with foreign investors across sectors, and traditional market participants such as small traders, jewellers and clothes merchants, he sensed a feel of helplessness among them when it comes to policy formulation.

“So acute is the air of despondency that Mumbai is losing faith in India’s most important economic policy exercise,” Mr. Deora said in his plea that comes on the back of official estimates pegging growth this year at just 5% even as consumer price inflation has touched a five-and-a-half year high at 7.35%.

“Once the world’s fastest growing economy, India is coming dangerously close to going off the rails. The sputtering economy needs urgent attention and radical changes to avert a crisis… India’s stagnating growth story is pushing us to the periphery of the world’s investment radar,” he said.

The recent social unrest across the country has also dented India’s image as a socially and politically stable country conducive to doing business, the former MP said. Stressing that the government alone cannot find solutions to the ‘deepening crisis’, Mr. Deora said it is necessary that policy makers engage better with the economic capital amidst such extraordinary times.

“By now, India’s Finance Minister should have visited Mumbai to meet with representatives of traditional markets, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, industry captains and representatives from banking and finance… If the Ministry of Finance is sincere about presenting an inclusive, representative and impactful Union Budget on February 1, it is still not too late for the Finance Minister to lend a patient ear to all stakeholders, so that their suggestions may be considered and acted upon in the economic interest of the nation,” Mr. Deora said.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 3:15:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/mumbai-losing-faith-in-budget-milind-deora/article30570720.ece

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