"I think the people of India want growth. They also want distributive justice.... We should not have lifted the foot that have been kept on the accelerator of growth. We should have pressed on with growth, pressed on with reforms even while we were continuing our flagship programmes,” said Chidambaram.
"Somewhere I think we thought that lower growth would be acceptable.... people of India want high growth……," he added in an interview to a leading news channel.
Admitting that several issues like anti-corruption movement and Telangana movement distracted the government, Chidambaram said the UPA should have continued deepening the reforms and promote growth. He claimed the UPA's ten-year rule was the ‘golden period’ of growth.
India's economic growth, however, slowed to decade's low of 4.5 percent in 2012-13. The estimate growth rate in the last fiscal is 4.9 percent.
When asked if 4.9 percent was achievable in view of the low growth recorded in different quarters, the Finance Minister said, "As of now, our assessment is that it is attainable.”

READ MORE: India's growth story is ‘work in progress’, still long way to go: PM
Chidambaram claimed his record of marksmanship is much better than other past Finance Ministers.
He said there are problems in the economy but hoped the new incumbent would pursue the 10-point agenda outlined by him in the Interim Budget.
Replying to questions on gold, he said though demand for some relaxation in import duty is justified. He, however, added that 10 percent import duty on gold is not high.
Large gold imports were a major reason for record high current account deficit of USD 88 billion in 2012-13. Due to curb on gold imports, the CAD fell to USD 32 billion in 2013-14.
As regards fiscal deficit, Chidambaram exuded confidence that it would be contained at 4.6 percent of the GDP in 2013-14.
Commenting on inflation, he said the secular trend of moderating inflation would continue.


Latest News  from Business News Desk