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Budget to accelerate growth: PM

February 03, 2004 16:17 IST

Asserting that the economy was on a high growth path, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said on Tuesday that the Interim Budget will help India achieve the status of a developed nation by 2020.

He said the Budget focused on food and defence security besides measures for continuing with the growth momentum.

"The budget has addressed the concerns of poor farmers, middle class and all other sections of the society," Vajpayee told reporters in New Delhi.

"It has vindicated that the economic situation is improving and has introduced various measures in this connection," he said.

"I am confident that this Budget will help in meeting targets of all sections of society besides facilitating achieving future targets," Vajpayee said.

"The measures taken for farmers and other sections of the society will help in encouraging the farm sector."

The prime minister said he was confident that the second green revolution will move forward successfully.

On the proposal to merge 50 per cent of the dearness allowance with the basic pay of the central government employees, Vajpayee said, "The government employees will welcome this step, but I will appeal to workers not to spend the additional money they will get and save for the future."

"We have two major objectives, namely strengthening the country's security and providing food security," he said, adding the scheme prepared in this direction will lead to greater security and food security.

"It is a big thing for a poor man to get wheat at Rs 2 per kilo and rice at Rs 3 per kilo," the prime minister said adding, the government has instructed state governments to implement the food-for-work programme more speedily.

"For those who have no work and those who are deprived of grain, the food for work programme will be implemented more speedily," he said adding, "the state governments have been ordered to implement in earnest this programme for the affected people in drought-hit areas".

"In this manner, the country can face the crisis," he added.

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Interim Budget 2004-05: The Complete Coverage

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