I rise to present the Union Budget for 2010-11.
In 2009, when I presented the interim Budget in February and the regular Budget in July in this august House, the Indian economy was facing grave uncertainties. Growth had started decelerating and the business sentiment was weak. The economy's capacity to sustain high growth was under serious threat from the widespread economic slowdown in the developed world.
2. It was not clear to us, as also to the policy makers in many other countries, how this crisis would eventually unfold. What would be its impact on the growth momentum of the Indian economy? How soon will we be able to turnaround the fortunes of our economy? The short term global outlook was bleak and the consensus was that year 2009 would face the brunt of this crisis across the world.
3. At home, there was added uncertainty on account of the delayed and sub-normal south-west monsoon, which had undermined the kharif crop in the country. There were concerns about production and prices of food items and its possible repercussions on the growth of rural demand.
4. Today, as I stand before you, I can say with confidence that we have weathered these crises well. Indian economy now is in a far better position than it was a year ago. That is not to say that the challenges today are any less than what they were nine months ago when UPA under the leadership of Mrs Sonia Gandhi was elected back to power and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh formed the Government for the second term.