Chidambaram Seeks Opposition Support To Spur Growth

Wednesday, 28 August 2013, 12:57 Hrs
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New Delhi: India needs a more open economy for growth, Finance Minister P Chidambaram asserted and sought the opposition's support for the government's reforms programme, saying the country cannot afford to grow at less than 8 percent.

"India needs a more open economy to seed growth. India needs more reforms and less economic restrictions," Chidambaram said, replying to a debate in the lower house of Parliament on the current state of the economy.

He said there was "no political consensus" on problems affecting the economy and that political parties should agree on "a common economic programme" on how to mitigate economic woes.

"The polity needs to agree on a basic direction of policy-making," he stressed.

The finance minister expressed hope that the recent measures taken by the government would help revive economic growth that slumped to a decade low of 5 percent in the financial year ended March 31, 2013.

He said India can't afford to grow less than 8 percent - the average growth rate achieved between 2003 to 2008.

"The prime minister and I both agree that India cannot afford to grow at less than 8 percent."

The finance minister's observations came after opposition parties slammed the government for mismanaging the economy on a day when the rupee touched a historic low of 66 against the dollar and the Sensex sank nearly 600 points.

"Rupee is tanking but government, Chidambaram keep saying All Izzz Well," said former finance minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, asking the government to resign and go for early elections.

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Source: IANS
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