Chidambaram argues for faster reforms, inclusive growth | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Chidambaram argues for faster reforms, inclusive growth

mumbai Updated: Oct 06, 2009 16:58 IST
Chidambaram argues for faster reforms

While saying that a mere high growth of rate is not a cure-all, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has said that "faster" reforms are necessary.

Delivering the 4th Nani Palkhiwala Memorial lecture here last evening, Chidambaram also stressed the need for "inclusive growth".

"The worst thing will be to bask in the glory of nine per cent growth and go back to lazy reforms," Chidambaram, who earlier held Finance portfolio in Manmohan Singh's government, said.

Saying that "millions have remained outside the market economy", he said that "faster reforms" were needed in the sectors such as Foreign Direct Investment and Education.

At the same time, "higher growth rate is not a panacea", he warned, adding that for inclusive growth, measures such as subsidizing transport fuels, fertilizers and foodgrains, were necessary, "though pundits may disagree".

Defending the loan waiver granted to farmers by Congress government in the previous term, Chidambaram said that between 1999 and 2004 banks wrote off Rs 47,123 crore worth loans in the industrial sector.

This benefitted only a few hundred industries and their workers, whereas farm loan waiver helped 36 million farmers, who are debt free in the face of this year's drought, he said.