First Budget of New Govt by the End of July

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said that the first Budget of the new government would be passed by the end of July.

“The Budget will be presented in the first week of July and we will be able to pass the Budget by the end of July. July 31st is the date by which the vote-on-account will come to an end,” Mukherjee said in a TV interview.

“I want to present the Budget within the stipulated date. I had discussions with my senior officers and colleagues. I have told them I would not like to have a second batch of vote-on-account,” he said.

Mukherjee said that the government would do “whatever” needs to be done and maintainig growth without fiscal “profligacy” would be his priority.

“I have priority for both: growth and maintaining fiscal prudence. But at what point of time which will get inter se priority is to be determined depending on the situations. What is needed now is stimulus to the growth, but at the same time we cannot lose out sight that we cannot indulge in fiscal profligacy,” he said.

“We shall to have to restore the balance but it is difficult for me right now to say at what point of time and what time will be the time span.”

Mukherjee projected a growth 7 percent for the economy.

“I presume the growth projection for the year 2008-09 will be nearer to the assessment made by the CSO (Central Statistical Organisation) in and around 7 per cent – it may be a little less but it will be around that.

It may be mentioned that India’s growth is expected to slow to less than seven per cent in the year to April 2009 from rates of nine per cent or more in the previous three years. It is seen slowing further to about six per cent in 2009/10.

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