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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's economic growth cannot be compromised at any cost, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said at a pre-budget meeting, adding the government must also contain inflation and concentrate on fiscal consolidation.
Asia's third-largest economy grew 4.7 percent in 2013/14, marking the second straight year of sub-5 percent growth, the longest slowdown in more than a quarter of a century.
Investors are keenly awaiting Jaitley's first budget, due in early July, to see whether he will stick to a strict path of fiscal consolidation laid out be his predecessor or boost spending to revive the economy.
"Mandate of 2014, clearly spells out that economic growth cannot be compromised at any cost and is sine quo non to reap the benefits of the demographic dividend," he said in a speech to state finance minister posted on his Facebook page.
Reporting by Delhi Bureau, Writing by Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel