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India's budget headache

Friday, March 16, 2012 - 01:23

March 16 - India's finance minister is unveiling his federal budget in a climate of slowing growth and political crisis. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION India's finance minister Pranab Mukherjee leaves his residence to present his new federal budget to parliament. He is under pressure to cut the nation's fiscal deficit in the face of slowing economic growth and a crisis of stability for the coalition government. India is coming to the end of a tough fiscal year that is expected to see growth slow to about 6.9 per cent, way below the target of almost 9 per cent set in last year's budget. High inflation has forced the central banks to continue raising interest rates, and while inflation is no longer near double digits it still rose to 6.95 per cent annually in February. With federal elections set for 2014, the budget a year from now is expected to be packed with populist spending measures. That means Friday's budget will be seen as a last chance for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to rein in the yawning fiscal gap. India's fiscal deficit for the year, which ends this month, is expected to exceed the target of 4.6 per cent of GDP by more than a percentage point.

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India's budget headache

Friday, March 16, 2012 - 01:23