New Delhi: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee invoked Shakespeare during the budget presentation on Friday to indicate the tough and perhaps thankless nature of his job.

"I must be cruel, only to be kind," Mukherjee said, quoting from Shakespeare's "Hamlet" to illustrate the dilemmas of his job, much like the prince of Denmark.

"Life of a finance minister is not easy," Mukherjee said, leading to laughter in the house.