Hardly a week to go, FM passes ‘minor’ budget
Though there’s barely a week left before Pranab Mukherjee quits the government, the finance minister was seen spending a few hours of the weekend doing what he is best at — passing the budget.delhi Updated: Jun 17, 2012 23:25 IST
Though there’s barely a week left before Pranab Mukherjee quits the government, the finance minister was seen spending a few hours of the weekend doing what he is best at — passing the budget.
Mukherjee presided over a meeting of the oldest Bengali literary society — the Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammelan — on Sunday morning and, amid other things, passed its budget for the current year. After all, it was a job too familiar to him.
However, for his next big task — winning the presidential election — Mukherjee is set to go to Chennai on June 30 to meet UPA MPs and MLAs. DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, whose friendship with Mukherjee spans over 40 years, announced Mukherjee's tour programme.
“For the first time, Pranab Mukherjee will come to Chennai to seek votes. He will meet MPs and MLAs. Arrangements have been made for a reception,” Karunanidhi said.
Mukherjee is likely to cancel his much-awaited meeting with captains of the industry on June 25 because he plans to file his nomination papers on June 24. Though he is also in charge of the Union cabinet as the Prime Minister is away, he is unlikely to hold any cabinet meeting this week.
“Cabinet meeting or cabinet committee on economic affairs may be avoided. Mukherjee is a stickler for rules,” said a key aide.
Mukherjee has already stopped taking major policy decisions, refraining from signing any files related to major transfers and postings over the last one week. He, however, spent a few hours at his North Block office — a normal practice when he is in town on Sundays. He was also believed to have gone through the files on pending routine matters.
After his name was announced as the UPA candidate for the presidential polls on Friday, Mukherjee found time on Sunday for a family get-together. He went to his Greater Kailash residence for dinner with his wife, daughter, two sons and their families.