Presenting the annual budget in Parliament for the fiscal year starting in April, Pranab Mukherjee, whose coalition government is hobbled by soaring prices and a series of corruption scandals, forecast that inflation, now running at above 8 percent, would ease next year.
Much of the price pressures stem from food inflation, now at more than 16 percent, affecting a vast majority of the people.
Fiscal deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product was seen at 5.1 percent this year in the budget but the finance minister said it should come down to 4.6 percent in 2011-2012.
The budget, weighted in favor of agriculture and the rural economy and welfare programs, sought to show Mukherjee's Congress Party-led coalition is not adrift as seen by its critics because of the scandals, the Financial Times reported.
"Overall, the budget is a growth-oriented and a good one and it has not taken the last year's growth for granted," said Hari Bhartia, president of the Confederation of India Industry, the Press Trust of India reported.
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