Ashok Dasgupta

NEW DELHI: The full budget for 2009-10 — proposed to be presented by July first week for approval by Parliament by the end of that month — will focus on expediting the long-pending reforms and stimulating “inclusive” economic growth through a step-up in expenditure within the limits of fiscal prudence.

Sharing the UPA government’s concerns with journalists at his first interactive session here on Wednesday, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee listed the constraints facing the economy and noted there was no other option but to push for a higher growth momentum in tandem with larger employment creation.

Towards this, the government was willing to increase its market borrowings as reviving the economy was its highest priority.

Mr. Mukherjee said: “We are hopeful that an early return to our recent growth performance will help us come back to our preferred path of fiscal prudence. Let me say unambiguously that we are committed to restoring growth and employment and that would not have been possible without increased spending funded by incremental borrowing. This would need to be further continued in 2009-10. However, we are equally committed to the process of fiscal consolidation over a period of say two to three years.”

He indicated that he intended to ensure easier availability of cheaper funds to industry.

More In: Today's Paper