NEW DELHI Feb 17 Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram presented the interim budget for the fiscal year 2014/15 on Monday to cover expenditure until the government's term ends in May.
Here are some quotes from his speech.
"Manufacturing is the Achilles' Heel of the Indian economy. The deceleration in investment in manufacturing is particularly worrying. Consequently, there is no uptick yet in manufacturing."
GROWTH IS RETURNING
"I was confident that the decline would be arrested and the growth cycle will turn in the second quarter. Madam, I believe I have been vindicated. Growth in Q2 of 2013-14 has been placed at 4.8 percent and growth for the whole year has been placed at 4.9 percent."
"I can confidently assert that the economy is more stable today than what it was two years ago. The fiscal deficit is declining, the current account deficit has been constrained, inflation has moderated, the quarterly growth rate is on the rise, the exchange rate is stable, exports have increased and hundreds of projects have been unblocked."
NO POLICY PARALYSIS
"I reject the argument of policy paralysis. Just as there are business cycles, there is a cycle around the trend growth rate of an economy."
"I'm afraid we will not be able to spend the budgeted planned expenditure, but non-planned expenditure will exceed the budget by a small amount."