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No rollback of reforms: Chidambaram

Wednesday 26 May 2004

Press Trust of India

New Delhi, May 26: Ruling out any rollback of reforms in the face of Leftist pressure, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on Wednesday government policies needed to be fine-tuned to make it painless for the poor.

"No one wants a rollback. I have spoken to the Left. What they want is to go forward but take along the sections of the people, who have been neglected," Chidambaram said, indicating that the new Congress-led government was in favour of pursuing reforms with a human face.

There is a need to introduce a "doctrine of proportionality", which meant putting burden on the poor to the extent it is bearable, he told The Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta on NDTV’s Walk-The-Talk.

To a question on subsidy reduction, he said, "The burden should be proportionate to their ability to bear it. If somebody cannot bear the burden, what is the point of putting that burden on his shoulder."

Meanwhile, Chidambaram is expected to carry forward the tax reforms on the lines of the recommendations of the Kelkar panel, which favoured phasing out of tax exemptions besides lowering of tax rates.

Kelkar’s roadmap revolves around Chidambaram’s theory that lower the taxes, higher the compliance. Chidambaram had proved that this works when he was the Finance Minister in United Front government.

See online : The Indian Express


in The Indian Express, Wednesday, May 26, 2004.

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