Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee presented on Monday interim spending plans for the 2009/10 fiscal year from April to July, a stopgap measure to take care of essential spending during and in the immediate aftermath of general elections. Polls are due by May.

Following are highlights from the budget.

* GDP growth seen at 7.1 pct in 08/09

* 2008/09 farm outlook is encouraging.

* Government to provide interest subsidy to farmers in 09/10.

* Farm loan waiver has so far cost 653 billion rupees.

* Apr-Nov FDI registered at $23.3 billion.

* India has weathered inflation crisis, but there is no room for complacency.

* Now is the time for extraordinary measures.
* "In these difficult times, when most economies are struggling to stay afloat, a healthy 7.1 percent rate of GDP growth still makes India the second fastest growing economy in the world," he said.

* There may be a need for additional measures in the post-poll budget.

* There is a need to accelerate policy reforms, including in the financial sector.

* Social security nets need to be strengthened.
The entire text can be seen at and
check out Live Webcast of the Hon'ble Finance Minister's Union Budget Speech in the Parliament on 16/02/2009 at 11:00 AM IST interim budget live, budget, budget live, ndtv, what is interim budget Finance Minister's Speech
or direct link
Union Budget (Interim) 2009-2010
another option is WebCast Lok Sabha TV
live budget 2009, budget live, live interim budget, ndtv, budget india union budget 2009, union budget 2009 10, ndtv, interim budget live, interim budget