Economy

Pranab's sixth Budget to take him to a new league

K. R. Srivats New Delhi | Updated on March 04, 2011 Published on February 27, 2011

80th speech since Independence: The Finance Minister, MrPranab Mukherjee, with the Minister of State, Mr S.S.Palanimanickam, giving final touches to the Budget 2011-12 atthe North Block in the Capital on Sunday. — Ramesh Sharma   -  Business Line

Mr Mukherjee would join a select league of Finance Ministers who had made six speeches, which is the third highest number of Budget speeches made by a Finance Minister.





When the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, wraps up his Budget speech in the Lok Sabha on Monday, he would have achieved a new milestone in Budget presentation.

By presenting the Budget for the sixth time, Mr Mukherjee would join a select league of Finance Ministers who had made six speeches, which is the third highest number of Budget speeches made by a Finance Minister.

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the country's fourth Finance Minister, Mr T.T. Krishnamachari, had made six Budget speeches each during their tenures in the Finance Ministry. Former Prime Minister Mr Moraji Desai holds the record for maximum number of Budget speeches — ten.

Next in the pecking order are Mr P. Chidambaram, Mr Yashwant Sinha, Mr Y.B. Chavan and Mr C.D. Deshmukh, having presented seven Budgets each.

Mr Pranab Mukherjee made three Budget speeches between 1982 and 1984. His fourth speech came in June 2009 (interim budget 2009-10), followed by the Budget for 2010-11. Mr Mukherjee's Budget speech on Monday, the eightieth Budget speech in Parliament post-Independence, comes in the backdrop of high inflationary conditions in the country coupled with slowing trend of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows.

Likely measures

He is widely expected to spell out policy measures to spur FDI besides opening up new segments.

With the Centre looking to introduce the Direct Taxes Code from April 1, 2012, there is expectation of only some tinkering with the income-tax slabs – to provide some relief to the middle-class tax-payers against the runaway food inflation.

The Opposition attack on the Government over the black money stashed by Indians in foreign banks may compel Mr Mukherjee to announce some new steps to tackle the situation.

He is widely expected to further tighten the transfer pricing regulations. Mr Mukherjee could also look at more initiatives on the international taxation front, given the increased integration of the economy with international markets.

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Published on February 27, 2011
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