Buoyant over economic performance but still facing road blocks from the crucial Left allies, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Friday asked coalition partners to give "political space" for financial sector reforms for higher growth.
"In a coalition it is very important that the political space is given to the government to undertake further economic reforms. There are many matters which are pending or are in pipeline. I wish and hope that we are given the political space to push through reforms," he told a press conference marking completion of almost half the term of the UPA government that came to power in May 2004.
Chidambaram's appeal assumes importance in the wake of differences within the UPA, especially the Left's opposition to crucial financial sector reform proposals.
"Financial sector is the heart of the economy and unless financial sector reforms are completed it will be difficult to sustain high growth," he cautioned.
"Given the performance of the last two and half years of the economy, I wish everyone will cooperate in giving the government political space to implement further economic reforms that are contemplated in NCMP, budget speeches and various pronouncements," he said.
In particular it was very important that the government passed pending legislations in banking and pension sector reforms as also the bill on insurance, he said.
Expressing satisfaction with economic performance, particularly the 8.9 per cent GDP growth in the first quarter of the current fiscal, he said that "with the cooperation of all economic players, the second half of the UPA government will turn out even better or at least equal to the first half."