Finance ministry begins work on new govt’s budget

Finance ministry begins work on new govt’s budget
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First Published: Mon, May 11 2009. 07 02 PM IST
Updated: Mon, May 11 2009. 07 02 PM IST
New Delhi: Ahead of the new government assuming office later this month, the finance ministry has begun the budget-making exercise to enable the incoming finance minister to present the full-fledged budget for 2009-10.
The UPA government, which is completing its five-year tenure, presented an interim budget for the current fiscal on 16 February, even though finance minister Pranab Mukherjee gave the estimates of the full year.
Revenue secretary P V Bhide has sought the views of the industry chambers as the finance ministry wants to complete the spade work so that the new government can present the full-fledged budget at the earliest.
A meeting with industry body Ficci is scheduled for 13 May.
While the budget will provide the first chance to the incoming government to spell out its priority and programmes, it would have a challenging job of putting the economy back on the track of fast growth.
After 9% growth for the previous four years, India’s GDP expansion has been estimated at around 7% for 2008-09 with industrial production contracting for more than three months.
Similarly, exports have been shrinking for the last six months, while agriculture growth is stagnating.
Raising resources in the backdrop of the global downturn will remain a key challenge for the new government.
India Inc, reeling under the global downturn, would like to see a stable government that can revive confidence in the economy.
Several industry leaders have said that stability in the government can come only if one of the two largest parties — the Congress or BJP — leads the coalition.
“Coalition government is inevitable ... but in my view it should be led by one of the national parties,” Ficci president Harsh Pati Singhania had said.
Former Assocham president and global trading firm Cosmos head Anil Aggarwal also favoured a government led by one of the two largest parties.
“It (government) should be led by either the Congress or the Bharatiya Janata Party,” he said.
Industry leaders have a good reason to see a government which completes a five-year term at the Centre. The Indian economy became a trillion dollar one after consistent good growth in the past ten years, which saw both the BJP and Congress-led governments complete their terms.
“A stable, growth-oriented government is needed. There are only two national parties, the Congress and the BJP, that may lead the government,” Apollo Tyres chairman and managing director Onkar Kanwar said last week.
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First Published: Mon, May 11 2009. 07 02 PM IST