Debt burden is sustainable, says Chidambaram

New Delhi, May 16 | Updated: May 17 2006, 05:30am hrs
Asserting that the debt burden of the country was sustainable, the government on Tuesday said it was on course to bring down the fiscal deficit to 3.07% during 2005-06.

The debt burden of the country is sustainable. We have the capacity to service the debt. I think our country will continue to grow at a rapid pace, finance minister P Chidambaram said in the Upper House.

Replying to supplementaries during the question hour, he said the revenue deficit was expected to decline to 0.7% during 2005-06. He said state governments had also done well to bring down their deficits.

Petrol pumps allotment to be completed soon

The government said it would soon complete the process of allocation of dealership of petrol pumps and LPG to the next of kin of the martyrs of Kargil war and Parliament attack.

As members voiced concern over the delay, petroleum and natural gas minister Murli Deora said in some cases there was a problem with allocation of land by concerned states for the purpose.

3,667 monuments are of national importance

The government has declared 3,667 ancient monuments as monuments of national importance and was taking care of its conservation and protection through Archeological Survey of India. Besides, state governments are also taking care of about 4,000 other historical monuments, minister for tourism and culture Ambika Soni said.

On questions regarding giving world heritage status to monuments in Maandu (Madhya Pradesh), Maajuli island (Assam) and Barapali (Orissa), Ms Soni said before submitting the dossier to Unesco world heritage centre for confering world heritage status, the said properties should be included in a tentative list maintained by Unesco.

Cairns Rajasthan oilfield to produce 1.12 lakh bpd

Cairn energys Rajasthan oilfield is targeted for a peak output of 1,12,000 barrels per day (over 5 million tonnes per annum) from 2008-end, Mr Patel said.

The field development plan submitted by the operator (Cairn energy) envisages peak oil production of about 1,12,000 barrels per day and gas production at approximately 19 million standard cubic feet per day. The gas produced would be consumed for internal use, he said.

Disinvestment of CIWTC

Disinvestment of Central Inland Water Transport Corporation Ltd may be taken up after writing off interest and conversion of the outstanding principal amount into equity and introduction of VRS in the corporation.

However, any disinvestment of Central Inland Water Transportation will no include Rajabagan Dockyard, the shipbuilding arm of the corporation, minister of state for finance SS Palanimanickam said.

Out of 101 air pacts 55 are in operation

Out of 101 bilateral air services agreements signed with foreign countries, only 55 are in operation, minister of state for civil aviation Praful Patel said.

In a written reply, the ministerfor civil aviation said of these, 66 foreign airlines of 52 countries are operating scheduled services to/from India.

In addition, the aviation minister said that Air-India is providing unilateral operation to Tanzania and Indonesia and Indian Airlines to Maldives.