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Chidambaram welcomes General Budget, lauds Mukherjee


March 16, 2012 - New Delhi

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday praised Pranab Mukherjee's General Budget for 2012-13, saying the Finance Minister has laid the foundation for fiscal consolidation, recovery and growth at the end of a difficult year.

"At the end of a difficult year, the Finance Minister has laid the foundation for fiscal consolidation, recovery and growth. This budget and the succeeding budgets, I am sure over the next three or four years will bring us back to the high growth path," Chidambaram told the media outside Parliament here.

"I think, we should commend the Finance Minister for traversing through a very difficult year and laying foundations for the future," he added.

Defence Minister A.K Antony on his part said the Finance Minister had presented a very good budget, and added that he was happy with the amount that has been allocated to the Defense sector.

The defence services have got Rs. 1,93,407 crore annual budget for fiscal year 2012-13.

Union Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid said the nation could not have got a better budget than the one presented by Mukherjee.

"Nobody can complain about it. We would not have got a better budget than this. If the service tax has been raised, you will not pay the money to run the government. There has been exemption on income tax, there has been motivation for investment. There have been good signs for the farmers, and in addition, the social sector schemes have been very well funded," he said.

In a bonanza to the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) holders, the Finance Minister proposed a modification in the KCC scheme.

The KCC will now be transformed into smart card, which could be used at ATMs also. Thus, making it an effective instrument for making agricultural credit available to the farmers in the simplest available way.

To promote agricultural research, Mukherjee has proposed to set aside a sum of Rs. 200 crore.

ANI

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