Defiant in face of Opposition, Chidambaram says will not roll back reform agenda

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SummaryFar from being cowed down, FM vows to unveil more reform measures to prop up faltering eco.

Indicating unleashing of more measures to boost economy, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today ruled out rolling back decisions on diesel, LPG and FDI in retail and expressed confidence that the government faces no threat from allies either inside or outside.

Close on the heels of the government taking hard decisions, Chidambaram said between now and October 30 Department of Revenue, Disinvestment and SEBI would decide on steps to revitalise economy, hinting that they will be in the areas which he had talked about in his August 6 statement after he took over.

During the hour-long interaction, he touched on various issues including Vodafone tax issue, GST, Direct Taxes Code and fiscal consolidation.

"Opposition will demand a rollback. As far as I know we are not rolling back any of these decisions," he told select journalists here.

He was asked about the demand for withdrawing the hike in the price of Rs 5.63 per litre in diesel, limiting supply of subsidised LPG to six cylinders per household in a year and allowing foreign direct investment in retail and aviation.

He said "a political government knows what is doable and what is not doable. Advisers can advise, but we have done what is doable".

Asked about stiff opposition to the decisions from UPA constituents like Trinamool and outside allies like Samajwadi Party and BSP and whether government has risked its stability, he said, "I do not think government faces any threat.

Government is stable. Our allies in the government and outside will understand and continue their support to the government.

We will be able to convince our allies."

"I think clearly, political government knows what is doable and what is not doable. We have done what is doable," Chidambaram said.

"There will be a debate and exchange of views. There will be hot words, ultimately we will be able to convince our allies that what we have done is what is necessary and what is imperative to keep the economy going (and to protect it from) internal and external threats to the economy," Finance Minister said.

He referred to the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's statement that she understood the gravity of the crisis and added that nobody has questioned the soundness of the decisions.

By capping supply of subsidised LPG cylinder to six per family in a year, he said the government has altered the behaviour of others.

"People who got their 100 cylinders at subsidised rates may not go beyond 30.

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