New Delhi: Amidst looming danger over stability of the UPA government at the Centre after TMC’s withdrawal of support, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram has made it clear that government is not going to backtrack its ‘big bang’ reforms initiatives taken recently. He also denied that there is any kind of threat to the stability of the government in the wake of TMC’s decision to withdraw support from UPA government.

Speaking after the Congress Core Group meeting held on Wednesday at Prime Minister’s office, Chidambaram reaffirmed that the government would not backtrack from its recent announcement to allow 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail. He reiterated that the recent announcements by the government to allow FDI in retail and aviation sector, putting a cap on the number of subsidised cooking gas cylinders and allowing hike in the prices of diesel were in the national interest.

He said that these measures were taken to boost the economy which is going through a stern phase. Given the present state of our economy, rollback of these decisions is not possible as they were taken after much contemplation, added Chidambaram.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni also downplayed that the government was in danger. Defending the government’s bold measures, Soni said that had the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders and diesel price hike not been allowed, it would have become very difficult to continue smooth supply of these stuffs to the public.

Both the ministers said that the government would try to mollify TMC chief over her decision to withdraw support from the government. They said that the government would try to explain its position to TMC chief on its recent decisions. It would also explain about the circumstances which coerced the government to take these measures.

Earlier Banerjee had demanded total rollback of the decision on FDI, raising the cap on subsidised LPG from six to 12 cylinders and reduction of diesel hike from Rs 5 by Rs 3 or Rs 4 for reconsideration of her decision.       
         
Government approaches Samajwadi Party

Meanwhile, Centre has approached Samajwadi Party, which supports it from outside, to fill the vacancy created after exit of TMC from the government. SP has made it clear that it would neither take any decision in haste nor would it give any ultimatum to the government.

It is noteworthy that SP too has expressed its opposition to the government’s decision to allow diesel price hike, cap on number of subsidised LPG cylinders and 51 FDI in retail and 49 percent FDI in civil aviation.

(JPN/Bureau)

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