iconimg Monday, August 31, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 03, 2013
Finance minister P Chidambaram on Friday said that the government would be able to push through with the proposal to raise the foreign direct investment (FDI) ceiling in insurance and pension sectors. “FDI regime in areas like multi/single brand retail, airlines etc. have been further liberalised and I am confident there will be forward movement in areas like insurance and pensions,” Chidambaram said while speaking at the annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

He also said that the regulators for the road and coal sector, and for tariff setting in the railways will be announced shortly.

Chidambaram said that India’s economic growth rate will speed up to over 8% in the next three years from the current 5%.

“Between 2004 and 2008 we grew at an average of 8.5%. We have slipped in the last couple of years. Why should not we climb back to 8 (%)? I am giving myself three years to get back to that,” the finance minister said.

The finance minister said that the government will be able to bring down the fiscal deficit to about 3% of GDP by 2015-17.
“Our fiscal deficit in 2012-13 is estimated at 5.2%. We may better this target. The Budget 2013-14 estimates a fiscal deficit of 4.8% at the end of the financial year. I am confident that this will steadily reduce to 3% or even less by 2016-17,” he said.

Chidambaram added however: “Let me stress that our fiscal consolidation has a human face and the government will continue to provide support for the poor and the needy.”

The finance minister said that the newly set up Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) has already cleared investments to the tune of $27 billion.
On food inflation, Chidambaram said efforts are being made towards higher production of protein foods, improving supply chain logistics for better procurement, and processing and distribution of farm produce.