Mukherjee to present Interim Budget 2009-10 today

February 16th, 2009 - 11:12 am ICT by ANI  

P. Chidambaram

New Delhi, Feb 16(ANI): External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will present the Interim Budget 2009-10 in the Lok Sabha today.
The Government is likely to announce some measures to reduce the impact of the global economic meltdown on the Indian economy.
According to observers, a package may be announced to address export sector concerns, which is the worst, hit being a labour intensive field.
Sops for sectors like rural development and infrastructure will also be considered in the interim budget.
The Government is likely to expand the scope of its flagship urban development programme JNNURM to bring more districts under its ambit.
The Government has launched JNNURM to encourage cities to initiate steps to bring about improvement in the existing service levels in a financially sustainable manner.
Earlier, Home Minister P. Chidambaram has said that the next financial year would be tough for the Indian economy, but a turnaround should come in October.
Asserting that the Indian economy would grow at 7.1 per cent in 2009, Chidambaram said a right mix of policies would help bail the country out from difficult times.
India’’s economy has slipped from a growth rate of about nine per cent in the past three years, but still looks healthy compared with most developed economies, many of which are in recession.
Faced with faltering growth, the Government had announced two stimulus packages, including extra spending of four billion dollars, while for its part the central bank has cut its key-lending rate by 350 basis points since October to 5.50 per cent.
The Government has also unveiled plans to borrow 460 billion rupees by the end of the fiscal year in March to fund its stimulus measures and meet extra spending needs.
Policymakers and analysts say the country needs to grow at 8.0-9.0 per cent per year on a sustained basis to wipe out mass poverty and promote employment. If economic expansion slips below six per cent as some economists expect in 2009-10, it could lead to more unemployment. (ANI)

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