Reduce prices to drive growth: Chidambaram
The former finance minister P Chidambaram has reiterated his earlier stance that the onus is also on India Inc to cut prices to spur growth.
He also assured the gathering at the Economic Editors Conference that the government would do its bit to boost domestic demand by spending more on the infrastructure sector.
While he said he was open to any suggestion from the industry on fiscal and monetary measures, he did not think cuts in excise duties or withdrawal of service tax from the housing and construction sector were called for at this stage.
Trying to allay fears that the current economic crisis might derail the government’s investment plans, the former FM insisted that the planned $500 billion (Rs2,54,352 crore) investment in infrastructure during the next five years would still be met.
Conceding that there was likely to be a shortfall during the current year in the quantum of foreign capital flows, Chidambaram said the government was in talks with the World Bank to double its lending to India to $6 billion (Rs3052 crore) this year.
Investments won’t be a problem as the government was capable of raising fund both in the domestic and market abroad, he added.