FM gives an inside view on politics of economics

New Delhi, Jan 22 | Updated: Jan 23 2007, 05:30am hrs
Ahead of the Union Budget 2007-08, finance minister P Chidambaram on Monday said while subsidies for the poor should continue, exemptions for the rich must be curtailed.

At an Express Group function here to mark the launch of his book A view from the outside: Why good economics works for everyone the minister said the key was to marry good economics with good politics. While good economics works for everyone, it does not work for everyone at the same time, he said. It was therefore important for the government to tailor sound economic policies to political realities, Chidambaram added.

Significantly, Chidambaram said those who benefited from the reforms policies rolled out in the last 16 years must yield part of their wealth and space for the development of the poor. The rich, who were the beneficiaries of the reforms process, are often unwilling to yield part of their wealth and space, he added. While we show concern for the poor and fashion economic policies in the name of the poor, we do a lot of good things but also commit great crimes, Chidambaram said.

Earlier speaking at a function at Panchavati where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh released the book published by Penguin Books India, the finance minister said it was necessary to develop consensus in the government on critical policy issues.

We must develop consensus on what ought to be done, he said. The government on Monday held critical discussions on pension reforms and SEZ policies, both of which have generated differences within the ruling coalition.

The Prime Minister praised the intellectual contribution made by Chidambaram to economic policies of the government over the reform period. He is under pressure to repeat the dream budget he delivered in 1997, Singh said.