Finance Minister K N Choksy officially said the economy contracted by 1.3 percent during 2001.
rnrnHe outlined a range of measures that the government plans to streamline in its quest for revive the economy.
rnA new Commissioner General is to be appointed to contain defence expenditure, which currently accounts for 20 percent of the total expenditure. The government has already said defence budget has been slimmed to around Rs. 50 bn compared with Rs. 65 bn in 2001.
rnOn the expenditure side, Choksy said they plan to trim costs by cutting down on excessive state spending and make state institutions more efficient. It also plans to dismantle several subsidies on essential imports and deregulate unnecessary red tape to spur economic growth.
rnCommenting on last year
quote s poor economic performance, he said the agriculture sector contracted by 2.3 percent, while the industrial sector shrunk by 3.7 percent mainly due to negative export growth.
rnThe UNF government has said it is targeting a 5 percent