NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in a candid statement on Sunday, said he was extra careful in his Budget due to political compulsions in Parliament.
Speaking at a post-budget interaction with Industry leaders, he said, “Knowing the mood of the people who matter in Parliament, I had to be extra careful. Many of things which could have been done, rather should have been done, could not be done just at the time of the budget.”
Referring to the quick policy shifts among political parties, Mukherjee said he had to keep in mind the prevailing ground reality that a “decision taken in one House is reversed or changed within 24 hours, when the same proposed approved by one House comes to the other House.”
The UPA, which has difficult partners like Trinamool Congress, does not have clear majority in the Rajya Sabha.
To a query, Mukherjee made it clear it would not be possible for the government to bear the increasing subsidy burden. “I am putting this question bluntly in respect of fuel subsidies. Can a country afford to import 100-120 million tonnes of crude (at high) prices? That very question is looming large. We shall have to collectively address these issues. There are various suggestions, we are working on it.... I would like to involve all stakeholders, bring them on broad to take corrective decision,” he said.