The Union budget will put the country on the path of steady growth, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said on Monday.

Appreciating several features of the budget, Mr. Karunanidhi said the government's initiatives on agriculture and promotion of cultivation of vegetables, millets, pulses and oil palm would help contain food inflation.

Referring to the proposal to increase cereal production, he felt that the allocation of Rs.300 crore was insufficient and wanted it stepped up.

On the additional interest subvention of three per cent for farmers, the Chief Minister pointed out that the State government has been implementing interest-free farm credit for those promptly repaying crop loans.

He welcomed the scheme of providing Rs.3,000-crore assistance to handloom weavers' cooperative societies.

He commended the Centre for a number of measures such as the issue of tax-free infrastructure bonds for Rs.30,000 crore and the rise in allocation for the social sector.

The Chief Minister thanked the Centre for the announcement on caste-based census, a long-time demand of the State government.

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