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India unveils indirect tax cuts in pre-election budget

Published on Feb 17, 2014 6:36 PM

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - The Indian government announced a package of indirect tax cuts on Monday to breathe life into spending and investment, and trumpeted its record of growth and reform over the past decade in an interim budget before an election it looks set to lose.

Amid uproar in parliament as lawmakers shouted him down, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram also said he would contain the fiscal deficit for 2013-14 (April-March) at 4.6 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), below his target of 4.8 per cent.

"I can confidently assert that the economy is more stable today than what it was two years ago," Mr Chidambaram said, while warning that action was needed to revive manufacturing.

Monday's budget was an interim exercise ahead of the election due by May and MPs will be asked to approve only the period until the new government is formed.

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