Chidambaram says 'Govt. will further liberalise FDI policy'

New Delhi, July 31 (ANI): Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who completed one year in office today, said that the government will further liberalise the FDI policy and encourage public sector undertakings, which have strong balance sheets, to raise funds from overseas markets.

Chidambaram said the government was also looking at raising import duty on non-essential luxury items and promoting exports to contain Current Account Deficit (CAD).

The Finance Minister said the government is looking at some compression in non-oil and non-gold import to curb the demand for non-essential luxury items.

The other steps being considered to deal with the Current Account Deficit include relaxing the External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) norms, attracting investments from sovereign wealth and pension funds and NRI deposits.

Chidambaram, who was talking to the media here, asserted that the government will ensure fiscal consolidation by containing deficit.

He expressed confidence that economy will register a 5.5 to 6 percent growth in the current fiscal moving up from last year's 5 per cent.

Responding to questions on the depreciation of rupee, Chidambaram said though he did not have fixed target in mind but would endeavor to check volatility and end speculative trades on the domestic currency.

On the possibility of a sovereign bond issue to raise foreign exchange, he said that is an option on the table, but the government will not rush into any decision.

The Finance Minister said 157 projects have been cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Investment involving an investment of one lakh 60 thousand crore rupees so far.

Chidambaram further hoped that the Pension Bill will be passed in the Monsoon Session of Parliament beginning from August 5.

The Finance Minister while talking on the Insurance Bill said he will be holding discussions with the opposition leaders to sort out the differences. (ANI)

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