Pranab takes over as Finance Minister
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday took charge of his ministry, a portfolio he held 25 years ago in the government led by Indira Gandhi.
The first task before Mukherjee, who was also in charge of the Finance Minister in the previous government, would be to present the budget for 2009-10 and spell out policies and priorities of the new UPA government.
The Minister at his office was received at by key finance ministry functionaries, including Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla, Revenue Secretary PV Bhide, Expenditure Secretary Sushma Nath and Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Virmani.
He on Sunday met Chawla and Virmani and is believed to have got a briefing on the preparatory work being done by the ministry for the Budget.
The government is required to get the Budget passed by Parliament before July 31, the date when the vote-on-account sought in the interim budget expires.
Home Minister PChidambaram had earlier said that the government would try to get the Budget passed by the end of July. However, in case the Budget fails to get the nod of Parliament by that date, the government would have to seek another vote-on-account to meet necessary expenditure.