New Delhi: The Union Cabinet is likely to finalise today, the address of President APJ Abdul Kalam for the joint sitting of Parliament at the start of the Budget session beginning February 23.
On the economic front, the President’s speech may highlight over 9 per cent GDP growth for two consecutive years. While the GDP figures for 2005-06 were revised to 9 per cent, the advance estimates for 2006-07 show that the year is set to close with a growth of 9.2 per cent.
However, the biggest concern remains inflation, which has crossed 6.58 per cent for the week ended January 27. “This concern is likely to find place in the President’s address, which may focus on ways to tackle price rise,” sources said.
The address may touch upon the controversial special economic zones (SEZs) and the rehabilitation policy for farmers displaced by industrialisation.
“The focus would be on inclusiveness of growth,” sources said.
The speech to be approved by the Cabinet is likely to stress on increased investment in crisis-ridden agriculture, which is adversely impacting supply-side management of food grains and other agro-products.
India’s resurgence as a manufacturing hub as a global supply chain may find mention in the achievement of the UPA government, which would like to take credit for the policies that have proved friendly for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)-- both inward and outward.
A series of mega acquisitions by Indian industry is likely to be cited in the President’s address, sources said.
They said while outlining measures for curbing inflation, there could be references to increasing interest rates.