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Mukherjee begins presenting Union Budget 2012-13


March 16, 2012 - New Delhi

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday commenced the presentation of the Union Budget for 2012-2013 in Parliament against the backdrop of a sharp slowdown in growth and deteriorating fiscal conditions.

At start Mukherjee said: "We have to accelerate pace of reforms and improve supply-side management of the economy. India's GDP has growth at 6.9 per cent in 2012-13 after a growth of 8.4 per cent in the past two years."

Expecting the headline inflation to moderate further in next few months, Mukherjee said: "We have been able to meet impact of slowdown."sserting that India has successfully achieved diversification of import and export markets, Mukherjee said: ""Development in external trade encouraging - exports grew by 23 per cent, imports grew by 29 percent."

This is the seventh time Mukherjee is presenting budget in the Lok Sabha, the second highest number of time by any finance minister. Mukherjee had presented budgets for three consecutive years in early 1980s.

It will be interesting note whether Mukherjee will change the income tax slabs and change the saving exemption limit, as the indirect taxes appear to be pinching the common man of the country.

The Chief Economic Adviser to Finance Ministry, Kaushik Basu, had earlier on Thursday forecast a 7.6 percent growth rate for the 2012-13 fiscal year, and said growth will revive slowly due to a drop in investment and savings rates.

Speaking on the figures mentioned in the annual Economic Survey of India, Basu said: "During the next year, that is 2012-13, India's growth rate will be 7.6 percent, plus or minus 0.25. This is a revival, but a slow revival. This year, the expected growth, and we don't dispute the figure that the government has put out officially, which is 6.9 percent, we expect roughly that."

ANI

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