Pranab to hold talks on budget

Mukherjee has called heads of three apex chambers - CII, FICCI and Assocham — according to industry sources.

They said the industry was apprehensive that the government may withdraw the stimulus in the budget for 2010-11 in the face of growing fiscal deficit, pegged at 6.8 per cent of the gross domestic product for the current fiscal.

Mukherjee has already stated that wide gap between the government’s revenue and expenses is not sustainable. However, he was against a sudden withdrawal of the packages.

The industry leaders are also likely to press for continuation of soft interest rates regime despite food inflation almost touching 20 per cent. They argue that food inflation is a seasonal phenomenon and not related to interest rates.

The finance minister would be holding wide-ranging pre-budget consultations with stakeholders, including trade unions, farmers, economists and bankers.

Since last year, he has also started meeting the state finance ministers in the run-up to the Budget.

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