NEW DELHI The government will focus on economic reforms to achieve higher growth in the union budget due to be presented by the end of February, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said on Thursday.
Sinha, addressing an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), said the budget would be presented on Feb. 29.
A finance ministry official, who declined to be identified, later clarified that the date of the budget, usually delivered in February, would be set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is holding consultations with the country's industrial chambers and other stakeholders.
On Wednesday, financial regulators, including Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan, met Jaitley and called on the government to stick to fiscal consolidation and improve the quality of spending to lift growth.
They also asked him to provide adequate funds to recapitalise banks weighed down with bad loans, and exempt life isurance premiums from service tax.
India has revised down its projection of economic growth to 7 percent to 7.5 percent for the current fiscal year that ends on March 31, from earlier estimate of 8.1 percent to 8.5 percent.
Jaitley said economic growth was expected to gain momentum in the coming quarters, as the impact of economic and structural reforms undertaken by the government takes firm root.
"We have achieved macro stability to a large extent but the growth moderation in the global economy and policy uncertainties among advanced countries pose a risk to this outlook," a finance ministry statement said, quoting Jaitley.
(Reporting by Manoj Kumar; Editing by Malini Menon, Douglas Busvine and Clarence Fernandez)
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