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No 'dramatic announcements' due to political constraints: Pranab

IANS  Kolkata, March 31, 2012
First Published: 18:43 IST(31/3/2012) | Last Updated: 18:45 IST(31/3/2012)

After getting a lukewarm response from India Inc to his 2012-13 budget proposals in respect of key reforms, union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said he had refrained from any "dramatic announcement" in the budget because of political constraints.


"I did not want, rather I did not attempt, to have any dramatic announcement (in the budget proposals), because I have to keep in mind that every budgetary proposal requires the approval of Parliament," Mukherjee said during a programme organised by the Calcutta Chamber of Commerce.

"Had it been decided in the boardroom of the corporate sector, or in the seminar of all the intellectuals, problems would have been easier.

"But as a hardcore political activist, I cannot ignore this fact from 1989 onwards, almost 23 years in all subsequent elections, India's electorate did not give a clear verdict in favour of any political party... there is a fractured mandate. Fractured mandate means yes we can move but you have to carry people with you," he said.

The budget for the next fiscal mostly got negative reviews from analysts and commoners.

Reacting to that, the finance minister said he had to formulate the proposals within some constraints as the Congress did not have two-third majority in Parliament and that was why he had to keep in mind that he had to persuade other political parties for getting the proposals approved.

"Therefore, it is not a theoretical proposition to any finance minister... I am to keep in mind that how can I get my proposal approved by Lok Sabha. So within the constraints I have to formulate my proposals. I did not indulge, and I think correctly, of any dramatic announcement," he stated.

"Many more things we shall have to do. And for that you will require time. We have to persuade others," Mukhejee said.

He said it was due to this political constraint, there was a delay in implementation of reforms like the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

"If GST is not implemented and the goalposts have been shifted, it is not because of me. To start the GST, you will require constitutional amendments. My party does not have two-third majority in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. So cooperation of others is required," he said.

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