Congress ministers term budget as balanced

Congress ministers hailed the Budget as balanced which would lay the foundation for fiscal consolidation but ally TMC dismissed it as status-quoist.

New Delhi: Congress ministers on Friday hailed
the General Budget as "balanced, thoughtful and forward
looking" which would lay the foundation for fiscal
consolidation but ally Trinamool Congress dismissed it as

"At the end of a difficult year, the finance minister has
laid the foundation for fiscal consolidation, reorganisation
and growth in this budget and the successive budgets. I am
sure in the next three to four years we will be back to the
high growth path," Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters.

Chidambaram, the former Finance Minister, also said, "We
should commend the finance minister for deftly traversing
through a very difficult year and laying the foundation for
the future."

Defence Minister A K Antony said though he had expected
more for his ministry, it is a good budget and maintained that
since the finance minister has promised to help where needed,
the defence modernisation plans would continue.

"In the present global situation, he has tried his best
to present a good budget. On the defence side, even though we
were expecting more, I am happy because he has promised
whatever is needed for in future he will commit," Antony said.

On the budget`s impact on ongoing modernisation plans
of the defence sector, Antony said, "We expect to be able to
push all our defence modernisation plans."

Minister of State for Tourism Sultan Ahmed, however,
said it is "a status quoist budget". "Na Khushi Na Gum" was
his short response when asked to respond to the Union Budget.

Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said that it`s a difficult
year and, hence, the budget is commendable.

"Balanced, thoughtful and forward looking" is how he
described it.

"The fiscal deficit is 5.9 per cent. It is to going to be
brought down to 5.1 per cent. Rs 40,000 crore is the
expectation from the auction of spectrum and Rs 30,000 crore
from disinvestment. This is how fiscal deficit will be brought
down," he said.