Pranab to present 2012-13 budget on March 16 (Second Lead)

February 7th, 2012 - 5:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, Feb 7 (IANS) Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will present the budget for 2012-13 on March 16, the government announced Tuesday.

Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi will present his budget March 14 and the economic survey will be tabled March 15, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said.

“We will be recommending to the president that the budget session may be summoned March 12 and continue up to March 30,” Bansal told reporters after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs chaired by Mukherjee here.

The minister said the budget session will resume April 24 after an over three-week-long recess. The second part of the session will end May 22.

The finance minister will be presenting the budget amid a sharp slowdown in economic growth and a widening deficit.

As per the data released by the statistics department Tuesday, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to fall to 6.9 percent in the 2011-12 fiscal ending March 31, as compared to 8.4 percent growth in the previous year.

While presenting the budget for 2011-12 last February, the finance minister had targeted around nine percent economic growth.

Another major challenge is the widening fiscal deficit. As per most estimates, this is expected to substantially surpass the 4.6 percent budgetary target.

The parliament session will start with President Pratibha Patil’s address to a joint sitting of the two houses, Bansal said.

The budget session, which generally starts in the third week of February, had to be delayed due to the ongoing assembly elections in five states, including Uttar Pradesh.

The model code of conduct, which prevents the government from announcing policy decisions or sops that would influence voters, is in force till the election process is completed March 9.

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