Narendra Modi govt's first budget to focus only on growth revival: G S Sandhu

Jun 29 2014, 01:00 IST
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SummaryThe Narendra Modi government will present its first Budget on July 10.

Reviving the economy to a high growth path is the "single theme" driving the Budget preparations, a top North Block official said today.

The Narendra Modi government will present its first Budget on July 10.

"The basic theme is to have a high growth rate. All the departments and all ministries are working on one single theme, which is to bring high growth rate in the economy," Financial Services Secretary G S Sandhu told reporters on the sidelines of a GJEPC Banking Summit here.

He did not elaborate on any specifics which are in the pipeline.

It can be noted that after clipping at over 9 per cent for three successive years, the growth rate halved in the past two years of the UPA government.

While the final GDP print stood at 4.7 per cent in FY14, it was lower at 4.5 per cent in the previous fiscal as a sense of lethargy and policy paralysis marked the final two years of the second term of the Manmohan Singh regime.

Power, steel, roads and other key infrastructure projects worth a whopping Rs 21 trillion got stalled for want of land and forest clearances and also due to bureaucratic delays.

Even setting up of a project monitoring cell at the PMO in June 2013 could revive only projects worth close to Rs 4 trillion, and even most of them are yet to get going as land acquisition has become the biggest hurdle for project execution.

Sandhu, however, added that only a few important things will be covered in the maiden Budget to be presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on July 10.

He said the Budget is not a one-time exercise and more decisions will be taken after the Budget as well.

Issues of all the important sectors including power, mining, coal, diamond & jewellery and shipping are being examined, he said.

"Meetings are being held on all sectors, so let's see how much can be done now and how much is left for subsequent time," he added.

When asked if some stimulus measures to revive growth can be expected, he said, "We are discussing and there might be some relaxation and some tightening as well."

The Finance Ministry office is located in North Block.

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