New Delhi: Ahead of the Budget, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will meet senior Congress leaders on Thursday to seek their inputs for Budget proposals for 2012-13.

The Congress functionaries are expected to pitch for increasing the income tax exemption limit and providing more funds for poverty alleviation programmes.

Finance Ministers have been regularly holding consultation with AICC leaders ahead of the Union Budget.

Mukherjee, who will present the Budget in Lok Sabha on March 16, has already held discussions with various stakeholders, including industry chambers, economists, state Finance Ministers, Farmers and Trade Union leaders.

State Finance Ministers will also meet here on March 3 to suggest steps for increasing the ambit of the service tax net with a view to garnering more resources.

Mukherjee is expected to announce steps for promoting economic growth, which is expected to moderate to 6.9 percent in 2011-12 from 8.4 percent a year ago.

The other challenge before the Minister would be to contain fiscal deficit, which is likely to overshoot the budget estimate of 4.6 percent on account of increased subsidy bill and low realization from disinvestment.

(Agencies)