New Delhi: Terming as “exceedingly good”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on 26 February the Budget would help the economy to return to 9% growth while allaying the fears that it would fuel “inflationary” expectation.
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“A job well done” was how Singh summarised finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s Union Budget for 2010-11, presented in Parliament on 25 February.
You must look at the total picture emerging from the budget. The net revenue gain for the finance minister is only Rs20,000 crore. In an economy as large as India, this resource mobilisation effort and balance should not trigger any inflationary expectation. At the same time it gives the muscle needed..
“The finance minister has not called back to the pre stimulus excise duty rate. He has still exercised moderation signalling the economy that you cannot have all things together,” said Singh, who in the 90s had donned the mantle of finance minister in the Narasimha Rao government.
The Prime Minister said despite a negative agricultural growth, the economy will this year grow by at least 7.2%.
“In my view, it will grow 7.5%. That is a tribute to the resilience of the economy, to the manufacturing sector, revival of export momentum,” he said.
He asserted that as far as agriculture was concerned, the finance minister has zeroed in on a four-fold strategy of doing everything possible that can be done to increase productivity.
On fiscal deficit, he said, the Finance Minister has committed the government will cap the fiscal deficit at the Centre and states at 68% by 2014-15.
“This is the recommendation of the Finance Commission. We are endorsing the roadmap that has been taken into account by the Finance Commission in presenting its report,” he added.