FM to meet foreign investors in world’s major financial hubs

Undaunted by the pull-out of long-time ally DMK from the UPA coalition, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, on Wednesday, indicated that for the government it would be business as usual, and there would not be any slowdown in its economic reforms agenda even in the wake of the adverse political developments.

Asserting at a press conference here on continuing with economic reforms despite the DMK withdrawing its support to the UPA, Mr. Chidambaram said: “I don’t see us any weaker today [than] what we were yesterday. Yes, it is true one ally has withdrawn support. The government enjoys a majority, the government will continue to do its duty…The government will continue to take executive action and the government will continue to push legislation in Parliament”.

With the economy in dire need of investments and the government committed to the path of fiscal consolidation, the Finance Minister noted that he would be meeting foreign investors in the coming weeks to persuade them to invest in India. Alongside, he reiterated that the government would not waver in its commitment to bring down the fiscal deficit to 4.8 per cent in 2013-14 from 5.2 per cent estimated for the current fiscal.

Incidentally, Mr. Chidambaram is slated to meet foreign investors in some of the world’s major financial hubs in Japan, the UAE, Canada and the U.S. to showcase the reform measures that have already been put in place and market India as an attractive investment destination.

Citing instances to drive home the point that there had been no let-up either in the legislative process or in taking executive decisions, Mr. Chidambaram pointed to the Food Security Bill being cleared by the Union Cabinet on Tuesday and Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on Wednesday morning approving the divestment of SAIL shares.

Food Security Bill

The Food Security Bill, he said, would be introduced in Parliament, and expressed absolute confidence on garnering “enough support” in Parliament to pass the Bill.

“We are in government. We have a duty to steer the ship even if there is mild storm in the sea. We have our hands firmly on the wheels. We will continue to push for legislation,” he said, indicating that political developments within the coalition would not come in the way of reforms.

More In: Economy | Business