Pranab to present 2012-13 budget on March 16
IANS & PTI
NEW DELHI FINANCE Minister Pranab Mukherjee will present the budget for 2012-13 on March 16, the government announced on Tuesday.
Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi will present his budget on March 14 and the economic survey will be tabled on March 15, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said.
“We will be recommending to the president that the budget session may be summoned on March 12 and continue up to March 30,” Bansal told reporters after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs chaired by Mukherjee here.
The minister said the budget session will resume on April 24 after an over three-weeklong recess. The second part of the session will end on May 22.
The finance minister will be presenting the budget amid a sharp slowdown in economic growth and a widening deficit.
As per the data released by the statistics department on Tuesday, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to fall to 6.9 percent in the 2011-12 fiscal ending March 31, as compared to 8.4 percent growth in the previous year.
While presenting the budget for 2011-12 last February, the finance minister had targeted around nine percent economic growth. The GDP would slow to a three-year low, against 8.4 per cent expansion in the last fiscal.
Another major challenge is the widening fiscal deficit. As per most estimates, this is expected to substantially surpass the 4.6 percent budgetary target.
Describing the 6.9 per cent growth projected for the current fiscal as disappointing, Mukherjee said it was on account of a slowdown in industrial output and investment growth.
“Though figures of advance estimates for GDP for the current fiscal somewhat look disappointing by our recent growth experience, considering the current global context and the slowdown in the domestic industrial sector in particular, the growth performance is not all that surprising,” Mukherjee said in a statement.
Mukherjee said although investor sentiments have improved in recent months, it is still an area of concern. Besides the government is also working towards fiscal consolidation and controlling inflation.
“We shall have to give more focus on both reaching higher growth trajectory and at the same time to keep in mind that the inflation should continue to be in moderate range,” he told reporters in New Delhi.
He said the main reason for decline in the GDP growth is slowdown in industrial growth, in particular in investment growth, but exuded confidence that the growth figures could be revised upwards when the full data for year 2011-12 becomes available.
“No doubt these are challenging tasks, but national and international environment has thrust upon challenges.
We shall have to face these challenges collectively,” he said.