Finally, the development must be sustainable – economically andecologically. The development model must have democratic legitimacy andapproval.
Looming large over our efforts to stimulate growth is inflation. Someinflation is imported. Supply demand mismatch, for example in oilseeds and pulses, also pushes up inflation. Aggregate demand is another cause of inflation.The battle against inflation must be fought on all fronts. Our efforts in the pastfew months have brought down headline WPI inflation to about 7.0 percent andcore inflation to about 4.2 percent. It is food inflation that is worrying
and weshall take all possible steps to augment the supply side to meet the growingdemand for food items.
Government expenditure boosts aggregate demand and it has both goodand bad consequences. Wisdom lies in finding the correct level of governmentexpenditure. In the budget for 2012-13, the estimate of Plan Expenditure wastoo ambitious and the estimate of non-Plan Expenditure was too conservative.Faced with a huge fiscal deficit, I had no choice but to rationalise expenditure.We took a dose of bitter medicine. It seems to be working. We also took some policy decisions that had been deferred for too long, corrected some prices, andundertook a review of certain tax policies. We have retrieved some economicspace. As I outline our plans and priorities, Hon’ble Members will find that Ihave used that economic space to advantage – and to advance the UPAGovernment’s socio-economic objectives.
II. THE PLAN AND BUDGETARY ALLOCATIONS15.
Five Year Plan began in 2012-13. Anticipating a global anddomestic recovery, total expenditure had been fixed at
14,90,925 crore. Due tothe slowdown and the austerity measures, the revised estimate is
14,30,825crore or 96 percent of the budget estimate. The economic space that we havegained has given me the confidence to be more ambitious in 2013-14. I have been able to set the BE of total expenditure at
16,65,297 crore and of planexpenditure at
5,55,322 crore. Hon’ble Members will be happy to know that plan expenditure in 2013-14 will be 29.4 percent more than the revised estimateof the current year. All flagship programmes have been fully and adequatelyfunded. I dare say I have provided sufficient funds to each Ministry or Departmentconsistent with their capacity to spend the funds. Now, it is over to the Ministriesand Departments to deliver the outcomes through good governance, prudentcash management, close monitoring and timely implementation.
Madam Speaker, on the one side is economic policy. On the other side iseconomic welfare. We are a developing country. The link between policy andwelfare can be expressed in a few words: opportunities, education, skills, jobsand incomes. Every mother understands this. Every young man and womanunderstands this. My budget for 2013-14 has before it one overarching goal: tocreate opportunities for our youth to acquire education and skills that will get