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More reforms coming in 2-4 months, says Chidambaram
Says fiscal deficit will be below 4.8% in FY14
Hopeful of passing of GST Bill
Tribune News Service

Finance Minister P Chidambaram presents the policy papers and a card to a farmer at the launch of a mediclaim facility for farmers under Dena Kisan Credit Card Scheme in New Delhi
Finance Minister P Chidambaram presents the policy papers and a card to a farmer at the launch of a mediclaim facility for farmers under Dena Kisan Credit Card Scheme in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

New Delhi, April 24
Finance Minister P Chidambaram said today the government would take more executive actions in the next two to four months to accelerate the reforms process.

Ruling out the chances of early elections, Chidambaram said the government would last for 13 more months and would continue to take small but significant steps to ensure that the country achieves its potential growth rate of 8 per cent. He added that the fiscal deficit for 2013-14 would be below 4.8 per cent.

"There is much more to be done. The remaining bills have to be passed. There are many more executive actions that have to be taken. Some of these are executive actions which we will take in the next 2-4 months", he said at an event here today.

The minister sought cooperation of the main opposition party to ensure passage of the land, insurance and goods and services tax (GST) bills in Parliament, saying the economic issues should be dealt in a bipartisan manner.

PC: No aspirations to become PM

Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on Wednesday that he has no aspirations to become the Prime Minister and would like to do party work. "I have no such expectations. I have no such aspiration and I believe that in the few years that remain to me, I want to do a few other things, like travel," he said when asked whom he would like to choose his Finance Minister after becoming the PM after General Election.

"The first part of the question, I reject it out of hand. Therefore, if I reject the first assumption out of hand, the second question does not arise. But I can certainly recommend you and many other names to the new PM," he said in a lighter vein.

Chidambaram said he would like to "remain a worker of the Congress party". " I want to prove that I can also do party work. I will love to do party work, but I would do whatever the party asks me to do," he said.

"We have listed the things we intend to do. We want the land Bill passed; insurance Bill passed with FDI at 49 per cent. I sincerely seek cooperation of principal opposition party and other political parties.

"We want the regulator for coal sector, road sector in place; we want rail tariff authority in place to fix tariff in railway sector," the minister said.

Chidambaram said there was need to take a re-look at the foreign direct investment (FDI) caps which were fixed long ago. "We need to open our economy more. We have to give more space for the FDI," he said, adding the FDI caps could be removed if found no longer useful.

Two separate committees, under the RBI and the Finance Ministry, are looking into various aspects of the foreign investment, including removal or raising of the FDI caps.

Promoting the FDI was also essential to deal with the problem of widening current account deficit (CAD), he said, adding it is likely to be below 5 per cent during the financial year 2012-13.

He added that the recent initiatives take by the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) would spur investment activity which is essential for promoting growth and job creation.

On the roll out of the goods and services tax (GST), the minister said there were 70 per cent chances of the getting the bills approved by Parliament in the remaining term of the UPA-II government.

"We reached a stage where the Empowered Committee (of state FMs) has authorised us to draft a constitution amendment Bill and a normal Bill for introducing the GST. Work is in progress. The two bills will be ready. We will take it back to the Empowered Committee. Once the committee endorses the two Bills, we will move them in Parliament," he said.

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