Finance Minister P Chidambaram said he would continue to push reforms in his next budget, killing the notion that it would be populist ahead of the election.
"I expect to present the budget...It will be a budget which will continue the efforts we made in the last four budgets", he said at the Hindustan Times summit.
Chidambaram's comments come close after UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's assertion that the government would last its full term (till May 2009).
"There is no reason to change the course. If we have delivered low growth, there could be a reason to change the course. But on an average we have delivered 8.6 per cent growth rate".
Pointing out that the most pessimistic economic growth projection for this year was 8.5 per cent, he said he does not see any reason for changing the course. "On the contrary, we must remain on the course and I will remain on the course."
Earlier speaking at the Summit, the Prime Minister said: "Elections are still far away. The government has still one-and-a-half years to complete its term. I hope and expect we will stay the course."
Gandhi too said: "We are not in favour of early elections. As the Prime Minister has said the deadline is 2009. We are going to do all that we can to see that we implement our programmes till 2009."
Earlier there were doubts whether the government would complete its full-term following differences with its key ally - the Left Parties - on the Indo-US nuclear deal.