PM applauds Union Budget, calls for accelerated growth tempo

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 28, 2013 14:00 hrs

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said that the country must not lose any time and get its act together to accelerate the tempo of growth after Finance Minister P. Chidambaram presented the Union Budget with higher-than-expected spending for the fiscal year 2013-14.

Talking to reporters after the budget was presented, the Prime Minister said that Chidambaram had laid out a roadmap to achieve the eight percent growth rate.

"If India needs an eight percent growth rate, growth, which is at the same time inclusive and sustainable, what it is that each ministry should do. The finance minister has, I think, mentioned these challenges, it is up to the collective wisdom of my council of minister to convert these challenges into opportunities, to accelerate the tempo of growth, to make it more inclusive, to make it more sustainable," said Singh.

"We have committed ourselves that we will use the mechanism of the Cabinet Committee on investment to grapple with these tensions, which exist in our system and to ensure that roadblocks, whether they are environmental clearance roadblocks or forest clearances or other road blocks, they are dealt with, so that these roadblocks can be cleared and removed," he added.

The budget caps an intensive campaign by Finance Minister since he was appointed last August to turn around the fortunes of Indian economy after years of policy drift and global economic turmoil.

Total budget expenditure will rise by an unexpectedly high 16 percent in the fiscal year that begins on April 1 to 16.65 trillion rupees, even as the fiscal deficit for the current year will fall to 5.2 percent of gross domestic product, besting a revised target of 5.3 percent. (ANI)

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