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Full Text of Indian Union Budget 2008-09 (home page) .... Click here
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Indian Budget 2008-09- Full Text-Feb 29, 2008


184. Mr. Speaker, Sir, once upon a time India, together with China, accounted for 50 per cent of the world's output. We must regain our position and it is within our capacity to do so.

185. Our work in Government is, every day and every hour, a discovery of the path to reach our goals: full employment, abolition of poverty and elimination of inequality. "These goals can only be achieved by a considerable increase in national income and our economic policy must, therefore, aim at plenty and equitable distribution. We must produce wealth, and then divide it equitably. How can we have a welfare state without wealth?" Those are not my words; they were uttered in 1955 by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Although Jawaharlal Nehru did not use the phrase inclusive growth, he actually spelt out the conditions for inclusive growth.

186. Those words will guide the UPA Government. As always, I turned to my muse, Saint Tiruvalluvar, for guidance and reassurance. 2,000 years ago he set the benchmark for good governance in the following immortal words:

"Kodai Ali Sengol Kudi Ombal Nangum

Udaiyanam Vendharkku Oli"

[Generous grants, compassion, righteous rule

and succour to the downtrodden

Are the hallmarks of good governance]

We have tried to remain true to this philosophy. The four years to 2007-08 have been the best years so far but, may I say with humility, that the best is yet to come.

187. Sir, with these words I commend the Budget to the House.

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