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Manmohan bats for common man

A clear directive has gone from the PM to FM that nothing should be done in the budget that affects the price line.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2006 15:32 IST

The Budget this year is likely to keep hard reforms at bay, focus on checking inflation and announce the road map for goods and services tax.

This is being done as part of major indirect tax reforms that will make legal, medical, rail and hospitality services more expensive.

A clear directive has gone from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Finance Minister P Chidambaram that nothing should be done in the budget that affects the price line as inflation hits the Aam Admi (common man) the most.

Manmohan, however, added that there would not be populist measures that may threaten fiscal stability at a time when the economy was on a roll.

The Prime Minister's punch line has been 'money does not grow on trees and you can't spend your way to prosperity', the sources said.

The Government was keen that the Budget did not signal any laxity on fiscal front which meant there would be efforts to bring down the fiscal and revenue deficit targets in 2006-07.

This was an attempt to fulfil the commitment made in the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act.

First Published: Feb 15, 2006 13:16 IST