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Chidambaram begins presenting India's 82nd budget

Thursday February 28, 2013 11:37:36 AM, IANS

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Chidambaram set to present India's 82nd budget

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram was set to present India's 82nd national budget in the Lok Sabha Thursday that    

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New Delhi: Amid high expectations of reversing the sharp slowdown in the country's growth, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram presented India's 82nd budget in the Lok Sabha Thursday, saying that challenges remained but there was no need for gloom.

The finance minister began his speech by seeking the support all stakeholders in helping navigate the Indian economy through the current crisis. He said getting back to high growth rates of over 8-9 percent seen some years ago was the main challenge.

"We have done it before, and we can do it again," Chidambaram said, in what was his eighth budget for the country. "Whatever may be the final outcome, growth is below potential. But there is no need for gloom."

He said the Indian economy was today constrained by three factors: high fiscal deficit, slow growth and high inflation. "My greater worry is current account deficit," he said, alluding to the high oil import bill the country has been burdened with.

"India will need $75 billion to finance the current account deficit," he said, adding that this could only be done by attracting foreign direct investment in large amounts. "India does not have the choice in either welcoming or spurring foreign investment."

 

Budget Higlights

Human resource development ministry to get Rs.65,867 crore

Rs.13,250 crore allocated for midday meals scheme

Rs.17,700 crore allocated for Integrated Child Development Scheme

Drinking water and sanitation ministry allocated Rs.15,260 crore

Allocation of rural development ministry allocation raised by 46 percent to Rs.80,294 crore; Rs.33,000 crore for rural jobs scheme

Budget expenditure for 2013-14 at Rs.16 lakh 65,297 crore; plan expenditure at 5 lakh 55,224 crore

Rs.41,000 crore for Scheduled Caste plan

Rs.97,000 crore for women's development

Rs.110 crore for department of disabilities

Rs.37,330 crore for health ministry

Average growth during UPA-1 was 8 percent; high growth not a novelty

Current account deficit a worry because of high oil and gold imports

Will need $75 billion to finance current account deficit

Need to encourage FDI in consonance with economic priorities

WPI inflation down to 7 percent; food inflation worrying.


 

 

 

 





 

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Paratroopers in formation of Akashganga during the Indian Air Force Fire Power demonstration Exercise 'Iron Fist 2013' at Pokharan, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan on February 22, 2013.

 

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