In probably his first meeting with economists after taking charge, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will seek their views on the Budget at NITI Aayog on February 6. On February 8, Modi has also convened the first meeting of the NITI’s Governing Council, which consists of State Chief Ministers and Lieutenant Governors of Unions Territories. The Aayog came into being on January 1, replacing the Planning Commission.

A Government statement said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is also the Chairman of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI), has convened a meeting of eminent experts for an interaction on the state of economy and for inviting suggestions on the forthcoming Budget. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will conduct the meeting.

The experts and economists invited for the meeting include Ashok Gulati, Bimal Jalan, GN Bajpai, Mukesh Butani, Nitin Desai, Parthasarathi Shome, Pulapare Balakrishnan, Rajiv Lall, R Vaidyanathan, Rajiv Kumar, Shankar Acharya, Subir Gokarn, Swaminathan Aiyer, TN Ninan, Vijay Kelkar and YV Reddy. The meeting will also be attended by Arvind Panagariya, Vice-Chairman of NITI, along with full-time members – Bibek Debroy and VK Saraswat – besides Rao Inderjit Singh, Minister of State for Planning, and Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Finance.

Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian will also be present in the meeting.

The first meeting of NITI’s Governing Council is expected to give suggestions on setting up efficient processes and mechanisms for interaction between the Centre and States and also between NITI and other stakeholders to ensure synergy between the efforts of different levels of government.

States have also been requested to give suggestions to make the Centre’s new initiatives, which includes Swachh Bharat, Make in India, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Smart Cities, Housing for All by 2022, Digital India, Skill India, and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana a success.

The Centre reiterated that the core objective of NITI is to strengthen cooperative federalism. The consultative meeting with CMs and Lt. Governors convened by the Prime Minister on December 7, 2014 played an important role in shaping NITI’s objectives, functions and structure.