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Two days ahead of the usual date, the Union Budget for 2010-11 is to be presented on February 26, for reasons of a holiday and an Islamic religious event.

This was indicated by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee at an informal meeting with journalists.

Each year the Budget is presented in the Lok Sabha on February 28.

It so happens that February 28 is a Sunday and February 27 a government holiday on account of Prophet Mohammad’s birthday or Id-Ul- Milad, as it is popularly known.

The Cabinet is likely to approve the date soon.

Incidentally, March 1 is Holi.

It is a well known fact that Members of Parliament leave for their constituencies on weekends.

Mr Mukherjee would be presenting his second Budget after the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) took over the reins of the government for the second time.

The first was presented by him July last after the General Elections where the UPA got a clear mandate for the second time.

This year’s Budget is widely expected to usher in the second phase of reforms to propel the growth rate of the Indian economy, which is facing formidable problems of maintaining high GDP growth in the face of global meltdown.

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