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Our aim is to achieve 9 per cent growth rate, says Chidambaram

Our aim is to achieve 9 per cent growth rate, says Chidambaram

In a first, Finance Minister P Chidambaram took questions on the Union Budget he tabled in Parliament on February 28 from the general public on Google Hangout - a multi-person online video chat.

The finance minister was joined by select panelists including Jahangir Aziz, senior Asia economist and India chief economist, JPMorgan; Anand Mahindra, chairman and managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra; and Amit Singhal, senior vice-president, Google.

Here are the highlights:

  • We are aiming at 9 per cent growth.  In the last six years we grew at 8 per cent. No doubt that we have slipped but can climb again.
  • If we don't import gold for one year, half of our current account deficit will disappear.
  • Exporting more is the only way to meet current account deficit.
  • Thanks to remittances, our deficit is in check.
  • People, companies, PSUs sitting on piles of cash. Every quarter I will ask them where they are investing.
  • Why should capital gains be taxed if everything else is. I don't think there is a case to say that capital gains should not be taxed. Every kind of income must be taxed except for things link old-age pension. I think it's a fair policy, but I'm open to suggestions on this.
  • You play according to the pitch, according to the weather
  • The world economy is constrained, so is India's economy, so there was only so much economic space
  • Given the restricted economic space, we have done all that could be done
  • Need to attract investors in India
  • Fiscal consolidation is the objective
  • We have put away a Rs 1,000 crore for women's security ... we'll work with other government departments and NGOs and find out how we can use this money.
  • All-women's bank should get started by November.
  • We must remember that Eurozone is in recession ... Germany and the UK have contracted in the last quarter.
  • We are trying to stabilise our economy and get the growth engine started.
  • We will raise Rs 40,000 crore via disinvestment in the coming fiscal year (2013-14).
  • Will raise Rs 14,000 crore by way of selling residual stake of the government in non-government firms.
  • Every single disinvestment has been a success since I took over.
  • On global economic situation: No big bang anywhere in the world.
  • We haven't gone wrong anywhere, global situation has affected us.
  • Economies have shrunk globally, we're trying to stabilise ours.
  • On fiscal deficit: We will not cross the red line. It will be kept at 4.8 per cent or below.

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