Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Friday began presenting India's central budget for the the next fiscal year with the hope that the country will maintain a high growth rate of 8.7 percent even as challenges remained, notably in increasing farm production.
Thanking the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for allowing him to present all its five national budgets, Chidambaram said this was a "rare honour" which he shared with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"The economy is expected to grow by 8.7 percent," he said, referring to the growth for this fiscal projected by the Economic Survey tabled by him a day earlier. "But I personally think, the growth would be slightly higher at 8.8 percent."
Starting his speech with concerns over inflationary pressures on account of both domestic and global developments, Chidambaram said the intention of his government was to make growth more inclusive with focus on the social sector and agriculture.
Indo-Asian News Service