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Jun 26, 2012, 10.51 PM IST
AK Bhattacharya, Editor, Business Standard, says that the next FM will also fail if he does not employ the technique of consultation, consensus building among political partners, alliance partners and building partnership with states.
Below is the edited transcript of his interview to CNBC-TV18. Also watch the accompanying video.
Q: Will the new FM be able display a better report card than Pranab with issues like GST, building consensus among parties and FDI in multi-brand retail in hand?
A: The next FM will also fail if he does not employ the technique of consultation, consensus building among political partners, alliance partners and building partnership with states and make them believe that GST or a Direct Taxes Code will bring more revenue for both the Centre and the state and the economy will ultimately gain. These are difficult times and the new FM will have to use his political skills to implement reforms at a faster pace, which the country and economy need very badly.
A: In my view Chidambaram is a competent person. He has got the necessary political skills. He in his stint as finance minister for five years in UPA and even earlier under the United Front government, he showed considerable political skills in shepherding and steering the economy to higher growth with more reforms. So, there is no reason that he should not be considered once again. If you look at political persons, then after Chidambaram, the PM has limited choices.
Q: How much will the next general elections weigh on the new FM? How will the new FM tackle issues like food security bill and financial assistance by some states to the tune of Rs 19,000 crore with financial constraints on hand?
A: It will be a difficult task. Going forward the advantages are that, the economy has reached a point where it has got all the ills that one can think of. There is only upside to it if you have a finance minister who has political skills, who can manage the economic situation and the political challenges well.
So, therefore all that the finance minister can do from now till 2014 is to mitigate the damages that have been inflected in the last few years by reducing prices, reducing inflation, making sure that the growth rates climb a little and creating the necessary impression that government is back into business of moving ahead with reforms.
It's like bottoming out of a recession-hit economy. We have seen almost a nadir of economic management and anybody who comes and applies himself the task of managing the economy well and competently, I have a feeling that he had a very good chance of showing some improvement.
May 23 2013, 16:33
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May 23 2013, 09:33
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