The UPA government on Friday put the Kelkar Committee report in the public domain for an “informed debate” by stakeholders as the measures prescribed for return to a path of fiscal consolidation appears to have failed to take into account the political and social ramifications.

In an indication that the government is not on the same page with the recommendations — especially those related to phased elimination of subsidies on petroleum products, food and fertilizer — at a time when it is still battling the onslaught of the recent hike in diesel prices, Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram told journalists that the report, submitted to Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on September 3, “is under consideration of the government, and the government has not taken a view on... any of the recommendations.”

Explaining why the report required a public debate, he said: “Some recommendations appear contrary to the declared objective of the government of sustained and inclusive growth. The government is of the view that in a developing country where a significant proportion of the population is poor, a certain level of subsidies is necessary and unavoidable, and measures must be taken to protect the poor and vulnerable sections of society.”

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