General Budget has continuity, vision for India to act big: Mukherjee

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New Delhi, Feb 26(ANI): Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said that the General Budget for 2010-11, which he presented in the Parliament, has continuity and vision for India to act big.

Mukherjee, who presented the Budget with an assurance that the worst was over for the Indian economy and the days ahead were promising despite being full of challenges, said that he does not believe in dramatic announcements, but stressed that his proposals will benefit all the states.

Talking to Times Now, he said that "there was uncertainty and optimism in this financial year", following which he had "to mop up resources to bring up fiscal consolidation".

Mukherjee claimed the three challenges that were listed last year remained relevant even today; the challenge of quickly reverting to a high growth rate of nine percent and cross over to double-digit expansion; making growth more inclusive and developing infrastructure in rural areas; and strengthening food security.

He further played down the claims made by Janata Dal-United (JD-U), who have criticized the Budget after terming it as "an anti-poor man budget".

NDA convenor and JD (U) President Sharad Yadav had launched a frontal attack earlier in the day against the government questioning the very sanctity of the debate on price rise as the government has effectively increased the prices of petroleum products.

But Mukherjee said that there are enough subsidies on petrol prices and the Budget is not anti-farmer.

In another interview to NDTV, Mukherjee clarified that there is no question of rollback on fuel hike as it was not due to any new tax.

He conceded that fuel price hike will have 0.5 percent affect on inflation.

He also stated that Government's decision about partial stimulus rollback was a cautious move.

Customs duty on petrol and diesel were hiked to 7.5 per cent from 2.5 per cent while excise duty was raised by Re one a litre to Rs 14.35 and Rs 4.60 per litre on non-branded (normal) petrol and diesel respectively.

Petrol and diesel prices will go up by Rs 2.67 a litre and Rs 2.58 per litre in Delhi, respectively, after Mukherjee raised customs and excise duties on the two, virtually putting the Kirit Parikh Committee report on fuel price in cold storage.

The General Budget this year has come against the backdrop of the Economic Survey for 2009-2010, speculating that in the next four years the growth rate could be in double digits and the country would emerge as the fastest growing economy in the world.

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) index benchmark Sensex on Friday showed a gain of 93.52 points as Mukherjee began his budget speech. The BSE closed on Thursday at 16,254.2 points, while today it has reached 16,347.72 points. (ANI)

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