|Model Hasleen Kaur|
February 28. According to a news report published in Business Standard, two celebrity guests, Hasleen Kaur and ace shooter Gagan Narang, will share their ideas at the “Vision for India” session, to be attended by about 90 finance ministry officials including economic affairs secretary and 1978 batch IAS Arvind Mayaram who reportedly sang a song during the last year's retreat.
Kaur, 25, competed at the Miss Earth 2011 pageant in Manila, and also appeared in the Bollywood film Love Aaj Kal that starred Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone. Narang won a bronze medal for India in 2012 London Olympics.
According to the schedule of the retreat, as reported by the same newspaper, there would be a mix of entertainment and serious deliberations that include cricket matches, Yoga sessions and talk on poverty alleviation.
This year’s timing for this annual finance ministry retreat is such that all officers will have to go on the budget-preparation mode from March onward so that the groundwork is complete by the time the next government takes charge in May. What was presented on February 17 was just a vote-on-account, also called the interim budget. The full budget will be presented by the next government either in June end or July.
The concept of such a retreat for finance ministry officials began in 2008 when D Subbarao who later became RBI governor, was the finance secretary. Apart from Surajkund, the NCR hotspots such as Gurgaon, Sohna, Faridabad, Maneswar and Gurgaon hosted earlier editions of such retreats.