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'Focus on faster economic reforms'

Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the Centre would now reach out to other political parties on the Indo-US nuke agreement and faster economic reforms.

business Updated: Jul 23, 2008 13:23 IST

With the UPA government surviving a trust vote without the support of reforms-weary Left parties, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said focus would now be on greater economic liberalisation, including relaxing FDI limit in sectors like insurance.

"Yesterday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wanted to make a point (on it) in his reply after the debate on trust vote, but he had to table it due to uproar in Lok Sabha," he told reporters in Jaipur after inaugurating the Sriram General Insurance scheme in Rajasthan.

"We will make all out efforts to take economic reform process forward by passing a number of bills pending in Parliament for the development of the nation," he asserted.

The bills that are due for passage relate to Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Labour, Women and Child Development, and Social Sector, he added.

Chidambaram said the Centre would now reach out to other political parties, including those that voted against the UPA government on the Indo-US nuclear agreement, for faster economic reforms and passing of the bills, including the one on insurance sector.

The bill would enable the government to raise FDI in insurance sector from 26 per cent to 49 per cent, he said.

When asked about the measures for containing inflation, he said, "It is not a new question...We have answered inflation every week...Nothing new to add...It is driven by crude oil and commodities prices...It is imported inflation...We have taken monetary measures to curb it".