Trade deficit not a cause of worry: Chidambaram
Thursday, 21 December 2006, 06:00 Hrs
New Delhi: India's rising trade deficit is "not a cause of worry" as exports are growing exponentially and inflow of foreign exchange is keeping the deficit in control said Finance Minister P. Chidambaram. "Indian can live with current account deficit and trade deficit is not a cause of worry anymore," Chidambaram told reporters here on the sidelines of a meeting with the export promotion councils in the run-up to the national budget to be presented in parliament February. "It does not matter at all, as the exports are growing positively and foreign exchange inflow is balancing it out," he added. "In this meeting I have urged exporters to import as much as they want and export as much as they can." Chidambaram's statement comes in the wake of the recent trade data, which suggests that deficit in the first eight months of this fiscal had grown to $36.04 billion, higher than the $27.64 billion in the same period last year. At the closed-door meeting, a demand was made for lowering customs duties, which the minister supported. "I have heard their concerns and I have to balance the interest of the exporters, the industry and the interest of the revenue," Chidambaram added. Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath also addressed the meeting.