Indian Budget 2010-11- Full Text of Budget Speech
Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of Finance (February 26, 2010)
I rise to present the Union Budget for 2010-11.
In 2009, when I presented the interim Budget in February and the regular Budget in July in this august House, the Indian economy was facing grave uncertainties. Growth had started decelerating and the business sentiment was weak. The economy's capacity to sustain high growth was under serious threat from the widespread economic slowdown in the developed world.
2. It was not clear to us, as also to the policy makers in many other countries, how this crisis would eventually unfold. What would be its impact on the growth momentum of the Indian economy? How soon will we be able to turnaround the fortunes of our economy? The short term global outlook was bleak and the consensus was that year 2009 would face the brunt of this crisis across the world.
3. At home, there was added uncertainty on account of the delayed and sub-normal south-west monsoon, which had undermined the kharif crop in the country. There were concerns about production and prices of food items and its possible repercussions on the growth of rural demand.
4. Today, as I stand before you, I can say with confidence that we have weathered these crises well. Indian economy now is in a far better position than it was a year ago. That is not to say that the challenges today are any less than what they were nine months ago when UPA under the leadership of Mrs Sonia Gandhi was elected back to power and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh formed the Government for the second term.
5. The three challenges and the medium term perspective that I had outlined in my last Budget Speech remain relevant, even today. These would continue to engage the Indian policy-planners for the next few years.
6. The first challenge before us is to quickly revert to the high GDP growth path of 9 per cent and then find the means to cross the 'double digit growth barrier'. This calls for imparting a fresh momentum to the impressive recovery in growth witnessed in the past few months. In this endeavour, I seek Lord Indra's help to make the recovery more broad-based in the coming months.
7. Growth is only as important as what it enables us to do and be. Therefore, the second challenge is to harness economic growth to consolidate the recent gains in making development more inclusive. The thrust imparted to the development of infrastructure in rural areas has to be pursued to achieve the desired objectives within a fixed time frame.
8. We have to strengthen food security, improve education opportunities and provide health facilities at the level of households, both in rural and urban areas. These are issues that require significant resources, and we have to find those resources.
9. The third challenge relates to the weaknesses in government systems, structures and institutions at different levels of governance. Indeed, in the coming years, if there is one factor that can hold us back in realising our potential as a modern nation, it is the bottleneck of our public delivery mechanisms. There have been many initiatives in this regard, in different sectors, at different points of time. Some of them have been effective in reforming the way the Government works in those areas. But we have a long way to go before we can rest on this count.
10. The Union Budget cannot be a mere statement of Government accounts. It has to reflect the Government's vision and signal the policies to come in future.
11. With development and economic reforms, the focus of economic activity has shifted towards the non-governmental actors, bringing into sharper focus the role of Government as an enabler.
12. An enabling Government does not try to deliver directly to the citizens everything that they need. Instead it creates an enabling ethos so that individual enterprise and creativity can flourish. Government concentrates on supporting and delivering services to the disadvantaged sections of the society.
13. It is this broad conceptualisation of the Budget that informs my speech today. I would now begin by presenting a brief overview of the economy.
I. OVERVIEW OF THE ECONOMY ... Read
II. CONSOLIDATING GROWTH ... Read
III. INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT ... Read
IV. STRENGTHENING TRANSPARENCY & PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILTY ... Read
V. BUDGET ESTIMATES 2010-11... Read
a) DIRECT TAXES ... Read
b) INDIRECT TAXES ... Read
XIV. CONCLUSION... Read
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