Ahead of the interim budget, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, also holding the finance portfolio, on Thursday made a case for stimulating domestic demand and boosting external trade to combat economic slowdown and fight poverty.
"There is a need to sustain our foreign trade, revive foreign investments and generate domestic demand in order to maintain our growth rates", said Mukherjee, who is slated to present the interim budget in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
Boosting the economy, he added, was also necessary to "uplift multitudes living below the poverty line".
Noting that the country cannot remain immune to the impact of the global crisis, Mukherjee said, "India faces special challenges from the international financial crisis... we have to address this on many fronts."
Mukherjee also expressed satisfaction that India would grow by 7 per cent during 2008-09 in such times.
The government came out with two stimulus packages in the recent past and according to Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, there is a need to continue the stimulus efforts in the next fiscal.
Continuing the initiatives to boost the economy, the government yesterday announced a package for the media industry by abolishing duties on importing newsprint.