Some of the concessions that Pranab Mukherjee announced in his response to the discussion on the interim budget, sources claim, were opposed by the ailing PM. These include reduction in service tax and excise duties. Mukherjee had the backing of Sonia Gandhi in announcing the reduction to these imposts. During his interim budget speech, Mukherjee saw merit in not offering any sops to those who had been clamouring for it. He had then claimed that it would not be ethical to saddle the new government with budgetary concessions. Later, he realised that if he did not intervene then it would hurt the economy in a period of slowdown.