Mukherjee begins work on budget

May 25th, 2009 - 3:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee formally assumed charge of his portfolio - an office he returns to after a quarter of a century - Monday and immediately got down to business with a meeting with top officials on the preparation of the national budget.
“Immediately after assuming charge, Mukherjee had a series of meetings with all senior officers of the ministry and reviewed the status of various programmes and issues related to all departments of the ministry,” said an official statement.

“Issues relating to forthcoming budget were also discussed at the meetings.”

During his brief interaction with the media soon after being named finance minister Saturday, Mukherjee had said he hoped to present the budget soon and promised immediate steps to pull the Indian economy out of its present woes.

“All economic issues will be addressed. My priority is to put the economy back on track. Various efforts will be made to insulate the Indian economy from the adverse impact of the financial meltdown,” said Mukherjee, who held the finance portfolio 25 years ago in the governments of Indira Gandhi and, then briefly, Rajiv Gandhi.

He was given additional charge of finance in January as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who held the portfolio himself, had to undergo a heart surgery.

Mukherjee, during the course of the short interaction, declined comment on whether he intended to present a vote-on-account first. “I hope to present the budget in due course.”

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