Wants budget to reflect priorities outlined in President’s speech
NEW DELHI: In an unusual move, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has opted to make public his advice to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to incorporate in the budget the priorities outlined in President Pratibha Patil’s address to the joint session of Parliament on Thursday.
The President unveiled what has been described and hailed as a pro-poor agenda of the second Manmohan Singh-led government.
Interestingly enough, the Prime Minister’s Office put out in public domain Dr. Singh’s advice.
The Prime Minister has asked the Finance Ministry to ensure that the budget adequately and appropriately reflects the priorities and programmes outlined in the President’s speech.
Mr. Mukherjee is scheduled to present the budget next month.
It is customary that a Prime Minister gets to set the overall direction and broad contours for his Finance Minister before he starts the budget preparation exercise with North Block officials.
However, by going public so early with his advice, according to senior aides, Dr. Singh has locked the Finance Minister on the side of the aam aadmi against widespread expectations and demands from industry.