To be presented in the first week of July, it will be the maiden Budget of Jaitley. It will also be the first major policy document of Narendra Modi-led government and will spell out the direction for the economy.
     
Jaitley will also meet representatives of the social sector related groups in the run-up to the Budget.
     
As part of the customary exercise, Finance Minister holds pre-budget consultations with various stakeholders, including, representatives of industry chambers, trade union, financial services sector and state finance ministers.
     
At these meetings, the minister is usually flooded with sector-specific suggestions for the Budget.
     
Jaitley, who assumed charge of his new office on May 27, has been briefed by the secretaries in the five departments of the Finance Ministry.
     
He faces several challenges on the economic front, like rising prices, subdued growth and the need to move ahead on the path of fiscal consolidation.
     
Among other things he will also have to focus on streamlining subsidies which consume a major portion of government expenditure.
     
Soon after assuming office, Jaitley had said that he was taking over in challenging times. "The challenges are very obvious. We have to restore the pace of growth, contain inflation and obviously concentrate on fiscal consolidation," Jaitley had said.
     
On being asked how bad the economic situation was, Jaitley summed it up as - a ‘lot of unpaid bills’.
     
Fuel and fertilizer subsidies worth Rs 80,000 crore have been rolled over from the fourth quarter of 2013-14 to the current financial year.

(Agencies)

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