‘Economy no football to be kicked around’

Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday sought support of political parties in pushing through economic reforms, and maintained that economy is not a "football that can be kicked around by political parties".

"Economics is too important and economic future welfare of this country is too important to become a football to be kicked around by political parties," he said, adding that key economic Bills are likely to be passed in the Winter Session of Parliament "if one or two key issues are resolved".

He also asked financial sector chiefs and regulators to initiate dialogues with political parties on the reforms process.

"You should not talk to us (government) alone. You should conduct dialogues with all political parties on reforms," Chidambaram said while speaking here at the launch of the book 'Bank for the Buck' authored by Tamal Bandyopadhyay on the story of HDFC Bank.

He asked public and private sector companies to invest their surplus cash in new projects and kickstart the investments.

"Many companies are sitting on piles of cash without investing... They should invest in new projects, expansion of existing units or import of capital goods. If public sector companies don't invest, they will have to return the cash to their shareholders. In fact, this is the right time to invest... when the economy is in a trough."

Chidamabaram added "the flame of reforms is still alive". "When I took over as the finance minister this time, I had prepared a list of 100 items for action. I go through the list every day to see the progress," he said.

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