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HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

Govt stable, reforms on track: P Chidambaram

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 21, 2013
First Published: 00:04 IST(21/3/2013) | Last Updated: 00:07 IST(21/3/2013)

A day after the DMK withdrew its support to the UPA, the government on Wednesday asserted that it was stable, with finance minister P Chidambaram assuring the country that economic reforms were on track.

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“I don’t see us any weaker today…what we were yesterday. Yes, it is true one ally has withdrawn support. The government enjoys a majority, the government will continue to do its duty,” he said, addressing a joint news conference with parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath and information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari.

After the DMK pullout, the UPA’s dependence on outside supporters — SP with 22 Lok Sabha MPs and the BSP with 21 members has increased.

“The government will continue to take executive action and the government will continue to push legislation in Parliament,” he said, briefing reporters both in English and Tamil.

The government proposes to push through key economic reform bills in areas such as insurance, pension and corporate law in the ongoing budget session.

The cabinet on Tuesday cleared the food security bill and on Wednesday morning the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) approved disinvestment of SAIL.

Chidambaram said he will go ahead with his meetings with foreign investors to persuade them to invest in India. He is scheduled to meet foreign investors in major financial hubs in Japan, UAE, Canada and the United States in coming weeks.

Chidambaram said the government will not waiver in its commitment to bring down the fiscal deficit to 4.8% in 2013-14 from 5.2% estimated in the current financial year.

“We are in government. We have a duty to steer the ship even if there is mild storm in the sea. We have our hands firmly on the wheels. We will continue to push for legislation,” he said, rejecting the impression that the UPA is now weaker and “on more crutches”.

Chidambaram said the food security bill will soon be introduced in parliament. “I am absolutely confident there will be enough support in Parliament to pass the bill.”


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