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Pranab warns of challenges ahead
New Delhi/Mumbai, Mar 1 (IANS): .
Published on 1 Mar. 2011 11:17 PM IST
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A day after presenting the federal budget for the next fiscal, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the country continued to face both internal and external challenges, like spiralling oil prices, and must remain ever so vigilant.
“The challenge before the government and the Reserve Bank of India has been to support the growth process without compromising on price stability,” the finance minister told the annual meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Tuesday. “The task has not been easy, but we are making progress.”
The finance minister also warned that there was the possibility of rising global commodity prices.
adding to domestic inflationary pressures, which has pushed headline inflation to over 8 percent, and added: “We are already confronting such a situation.”
In a bid to ensure growth while maintaining price stability, he stressed on the revival of private investment, fiscal consolidation and supply side responses from the farm sector to improve the availability of food.
Mukherjee, who last month had attended a crucial meeting of G20 finance ministers in France, said there were no clear signals that the euro zone debt crisis would not spread over to other economies, especially in Europe.
“I am not confident from the recent G20 finance meeting that the European sovereign debt crisis will be contained,” he said. “I did not get any convincing answers -- still a question mark.”
Indian equities still rule strong
Indian equities continued to rule strong Tuesday a day after the presentation of the federal budget as investor sentiment was boosted by the measures to attract foreign investors, including overseas funds, to mutual funds.
The 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) opened at 17,982.28 points, against the previous day’s close at 17,823.40 points, and shot up further to 18,169.83 points.
Some two hours into trading, the key index was ruling at 18,141.44 points, with a gain of 318.04 points, or 1.78 percent. All the 13 sector-specific indices of the exchange were also ruling in the positive territory.
At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader 50-share S&P CNX Nifty was ruling at 5,434.50 points, with a gain of 101.25 points, ot 1.90 percent.

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