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Left helped formulate right policy mix: Chidambaram

Thursday 26 May 2005, by DASGUPTA*Ashok

"I will accept cooperation from every quarter, it is for Advani to decide’’

NEW DELHI: Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday said that the alertness of the Left parties helped the Government formulate the right policy mix. He was responding to the National Democratic Alliance’s allegation that the United Progressive Alliance and its Left allies were at "loggerheads" on key economic policy issues.

Answering a query at a press conference here, Mr. Chidambaram said: "As far as economic policies are concerned, the Left has been helpful and alert. Their point of view keeps us alert and helps us formulate the right mix of policies acceptable to Parliament."

Advani’s offer

Asked whether he would accept Bharatiya Janata Party president L.K. Advani’s offer of cooperation in the wake of reservations by the Left on certain key economic policy issues, Mr. Chidambaram said: "The Opposition, I expect, like in any Parliament must extend cooperation and must support legislation which are in the interest of the nation. I will accept cooperation from every quarter," he said. He added that it was up to Mr. Advani to decide in what manner he would extend cooperation.

The Finance Minister also refuted the charge that the compulsions of coalition politics were a hindrance to the passage of certain major economic Bills necessary to take the reform process forward.

He referred to the 13 important pieces of legislation that received Parliament’s approval during the UPA coalition regime’s one-year tenure.

Among the major Bills that the Government successfully pushed through Parliament were the Patents Bill, the SEZ Bill, the Banking Regulation (Amendment) and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill, the Securitisation Bill, the Central Excise Tariff Act, the Customs and Central Excise Laws, the Securities Laws Bill, the Prevention of Money Laundering Bill and the Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Bill, apart from the Finance Bills of 2004 and 2005.

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