The Central Statistical Organisation estimates the economic growth will slip to a decade’s low of 5% in 2012-13.
Chidambaram later stressed on the budget’s focus on the government’s core constituency — woman, youth and the poor whom he said cut across religion, caste and community.
Chidambaram also made assurances on the Food Security Bill.
“The bill is a promise. As the finance minister, I promise money would be made available,” he said.
The House later passed the relevant appropriation bills by voice vote thus completing first stage of the budgetary exercise.