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10 per cent growth within reach: Chidambaram

business Updated: Jul 30, 2007 23:08 IST

Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on Monday he was optimistic that 10 per cent growth of the economy was within reach but there was need "to make extra effort to achieve it".

Releasing the book "The Politics of Change, A Ringside View," by former bureaucrat NK Singh, at a function in New Delhi, Chidambaram said: "This growth rate is a result of policies taken from time to time and much more can be done. It is possible we can reach a growth rate of 10 per cent next year."

Describing reforms as being "opportunistic", the finance minister said reforms in 1991 under the Narasimha Rao government came about because of the "humiliation that the nation had to face because its gold reserves were pledged due to shortage of foreign exchange". This was during the brief tenure of late Chandra Shekhar as prime minister after the fall of the National Front government headed by VP Singh in 1990.

Elaborating on the economic reforms launched in 1991 during the tenure of Narasimha Rao, he said: "Reforms came by seizing the opportunity. We are all opportunistic reformers."

Chidambaram said that to carry forward reforms one has to seize the opportunity "given the complex politics of India and the wide spectrum of views".

Praising the role played by NK Singh in the government, the finance minister said "he was a tower of strength", a view also echoed by former minister in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, Arun Shourie.

In a lighter vein, Chidambaram suggested that the book, which has on its cover a painting by renowned artist MF Hussein, should be titled "Economics of Change".