Chidambaram hails interim budget, given the difficult times

February 16th, 2009 - 5:14 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) Home Minister P. Chidambaram Monday praised the interim budget tabled in parliament, saying Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee had done a commendable job given the difficult times facing the Indian economy.

Chidambaram, who till the end of November last year was India’s finance minister and held that office since the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) came to power in May 2004, said the interim budget had captured the India story well.

“He had before him an unenviable task - having to present an interim budget at the end of a difficult year caused by a global financial crisis,” said the home minister, who had presented the previous five budgets of the present government.

“It is, however, a matter of satisfaction that the Indian economy has weathered the global crisis reasonably well and is expected to post a growth rate of 7.1 per cent in 2008-09.”

He said Mukherjee’s speech also spelt out the determination and resilience with which the government has navigated the current difficult year, and, above all, the confidence and the “can do” spirit with which India can look forward to the future.

“The numbers in the interim budget will necessarily undergo change when the regular budget is presented,” he said.

“What is noteworthy is that the UPA government continues to repose faith in its policy of faster and more inclusive growth - a policy that has brought unprecedented development and a marked rise in welfare to all sections of the society since 2004-05.”

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