India's top priority is to mitigate impact of scanty rains, says Pranab Mukherjee

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New Delhi, Aug. 25 (ANI): India has withstood global financial storm and mitigating the impact of scanty rains is government's top priority, said Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee here today.

"Despite the global economic crisis, we grew by 6.7 per cent last year. This year, we are getting mixed signals and indicators are good as far as industrial production data and business demand and investor confidence are concerned. The government, however, was not in a position to lower its guard, given the uncertainties continuing in the global economic scenario.

"At this juncture, delayed monsoon has impacted many parts of the agrarian economy. Mitigating the impact of deficient monsoon is a high priority," he told a private TV channel.

Mukherjee said the process of economic reforms, which began in early 1990s, would continue in the right earnest so that the economy returns to a growth of over 9 percent at the earliest.

Commenting on the disinvestment programme, the Finance Minister said it was aimed at expanding people's participation in the public sector units, and gathering resources was not the main objective.

Speaking on government's borrowing plan, he said it would not crowd out private sector investments.

"In this regard government and the RBI are in continuous touch," Mukherjee said.

The government has plans to borrow nearly 4,00,000 crore rupees from markets during 2009-10, a rise of about 50 percent over what it borrowed a year ago, to fund the widening fiscal deficit necessitated after stimulus doses for the economy. (ANI)

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