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Pranab Mukherjee discusses budget issues with MPs’ panel

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Monday met members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to his ministry as part of the pre-budgetary exercise amid pressure to continue with the fiscal stimulus.

The committee comprises elected and nominated members of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sanha.

“The finance minister briefed the members about the state of the economy before inviting suggestions from them for formulation of the general budget (for) 2010-11,” said an official statement.

Mukherjee said timely and pro-active monetary and fiscal measures have ensured that the growth process remained intact despite the adverse impact of the global financial crisis.

He also told the members that the government would continue discussions to get inputs on tax reforms, direct taxes code and goods and service tax.

Although nothing concrete emerged at the meeting, Mukherjee is expected to take a decision on the stimulus issue ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s Jan 29 monetary policy review.

The central bank is expected to raise cash reserve ratio — the level of deposits that banks must keep in cash — that could squeeze money supply.

Industry lobbies, economists and representatives from various sectors have asked the finance minister to continue fiscal stimulus till the country’s economy recovered further.

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