New Delhi, May 27 (ANI): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said the government will push for economic reform and is required to present the Union Budget within 45 days of coming to power.
Addressing his first press conference after assuming charge of the Finance Ministry, Mukherjee said, "We will adhere to this schedule and propose to present the Budget in the first week of July. The regular budget 2009-10 exercises are underway in full swing."
He said, reviving the growth momentum of India's economy, which has been affected by the global financial crisis, is the top most priority of the Government.
"The fiscal prudence has to be kept in mind while taking steps for reviving the economy," he added.
He further said a major consequence of the global financial crisis has been the loss of confidence among industry and business.
"Various coordinated steps taken by the government and the RBI have stabilised the economy in a short period of time. The economic system was keenly looking forward to a stable and effective government to steer it out of the current situation," he said.
For India's economic growth, he said, "We are assessing the impact of three doses of economic stimulus we announced in December, in January and in the Interim Budget. Sustained stimulus to growth can be harnessed by the next round of economic reforms. I will get additional inputs when I have my pre-budget consultations with different stakeholders. All this will be distilled into a concrete short-term and medium-term vision and strategy for India's economic growth."
Mukherjee said the government has the opportunity to present its vision and approach for the next five years in the forthcoming budget.
"Broadly, the election results have vindicated the strategy of "inclusive growth". I have no hesitation in saying that alongwith reviving the momentum of growth and employment creation, our government will strengthen the various "inclusive" elements in the coming budget," he said.
He further added that the Government would have to focus on implementing and strengthening its infrastructure investments.
"These concerns will be addressed with a view to impart further momentum for an early return to the high growth path of recent years," he said.
On restoring growth and employment, he said, "We are hopeful that an early return to our recent growth performance will help us come back to our preferred path of fiscal prudence. We are committed to restoring growth and employment and that would not have been possible without increased spending funded by incremental borrowing. This would need to be further continued in 2009-10-the current year. However, we are equally committed to the process of fiscal consolidation over a period of say two to three years."
Speaking on the Prevention of Money Laundering Act Amendment, he said, it was passed by Parliament recently.
"We propose to bring this into force to make India's Anti-money Laundering regime stronger," he later said. (ANI)