New Delhi, May 15 : Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Wednesday left on a three-nation visit to UK, France and Qatar, in a bid to sell the India-growth story and woo overseas investors.
During the five-day visit, Chidambaram will hold talks with industrialists, ministers and government officials in the three countries.
The finance minister will lead Indian side at the sixth ministerial India-UK economic and financial dialogue Thursday in London, according to an official statement released here.
Patna, May 11 : Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Saturday said that Bihar will be accorded special category status after the change of criteria.
"I hope that new criteria will determine status of backward states. Bihar will certainly qualify for special category status under new criteria for it," said Chidambaram.
"The central government is reviewing the new criteria for special category status to backward states like Bihar," he told media persons here, adding a sub committee has been set up to study it and its report expected soon.
The government will continue with efforts to curb tax evasion, bring more people into the tax net and recover tax arrears this fiscal as well, Union Finance minister P Chidambaram said.
Addressing the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, Mr. Chidambaram said that the tax department mined data, issued notices to tax evaders and brought 50 lakh more taxpayers into the tax net between January and March.
The financial ministry has said that it is cutting a key tax rate affecting foreign investors in the country in a move aimed at attracting more foreign funds in order to be able to fund the wide current account deficit of the government.
Finance minister P Chidambaram said announced a cut in withholding tax from 20 per cent at present to 5 per cent for a period of two years for interest earned by foreign investors on government securities and rupee-denominated corporate bonds. Chidambaram believes that the move will help attract inflows of funds from foreign institutional investors and qualified foreign investors.
A total of 27 companies, including the local divisions of Vodafone, HSBC and Standard Chartered, underpaid taxes in share transfers during the last financial year, Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram confirmed.
Mr. Chidambaram named the companies in a written reply to a question asked by a lawmaker. The lawmakers had asked the finance ministry to reveal which companies were at odds with the country's tax department over issues of share-transfer pricing.
The government will drag the fiscal deficit for 2013-14 down to below 4.8 per cent of India's gross domestic product (GDP), Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said.
Addressing the India Summit conference in New Delhi on Wednesday, Mr. Chidambaram described the government's fiscal deficit target as a red line that the government would never breach.
The Minister also said that he expected the current account deficit (CAD) to be below 5 per cent in the past fiscal.
New Delhi, April 24 : Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Wednesday ruled out the possibility of early elections, and said the government will take more reform initiatives in the next two-four months.
"We will continue to take small significant steps. We will also take forward some big ideas. India's economy will continue to reform," Chidambaram said at The Economist's India Summit organised by the UK-based economic magazine.
Chidambaram said the government will push for the passage of major reform regulations, like land and insurance bills, in the ongoing budget session of parliament.
New Delhi, April 24 : Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who has been projected variously as a strong contender to succeed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh if the UPA coalition retains power, Wednesday said he had no such ambition and wanted to work for the party.
When asked if he was a prime ministerial contender for 2014 general elections, Chidambaram said: "I have no such expectations. I have no such aspirations."
Answering questions at The Economist's India Summit here, Chidambaram said he would like to travel and work for the party.
Washington, April 20 : Finance Minister P Chidambaram has flagged to the US Indian concerns over the proposed "discriminatory" fee hike for HiB visas coveted by Indian techies, saying "knowledge workers" should not be confused with immigrants.
The minister, who is here to attend the annual International Monetary Fund-World Bank spring meeting, flagged Indian concerns at a meeting Friday with new US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew as they did a "tour of the horizon" of issues between the two countries.
The draft Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) report on 2G scandal has given a clean chit to the Prime Minister and Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the huge 2G spectrum scam in the country
Panel chief P C Chacko claimed that the JPC draft report was based on the terms of reference covering a period of ten years. He said that the panel is looking at the issues in a chronological order and urged the members should look at the draft report for its merit and not on political grounds.
Liquidation came from all quarters, including exchange-traded funds, speculators and even physical bullion owners in China and India, the world's largest bullion markets. Investors cut exposure to gold, with total holdings at the world's major bullion gold-backed exchange-traded-funds falling to their lowest since early 2012.
Traders also cited liquidation by prominent hedge funds in gold exchange traded funds, especially the SPDR Gold Trust, which was one of the most-active trading U. S. stocks. The gold ETF posted a record monthly outflow in February. Paulson & Co, run by billionaire financier John Paulson and by far the biggest shareholder in SPDR Gold, told clients earlier this month its gold fund suffered double-digit losses during the first quarter.
Boston, April 17 : Overseas capital is best protected in India and the country has all the ingredients to attract foreign direct investment, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has said in a bid to woo investors from the US.
Addressing students and faculty of Harvard University, Chidambaram said: "Best guarantor of investment protection is a stable and democratic political structure, a belief in the rule of law, and a transparent and independent legal system. India has all three."
India's Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said that the government is considering decontrolling the prices of locally produced oil and natural gas in order to encourage more foreign investment in the sector.
"We are at an advanced stage - a Cabinet paper is under consideration on how to move from a production sharing model to revenue sharing model for oil and gas explored and excavated by companies," he said. He was speaking as he kicked off his tour of Canada and US to attract investors to Asia's third largest economy.
All banks have been instructed to gear up for the rollout of LPG subsidy through the government's ambitious Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme.
The instruction was given by Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Friday, during a meeting with senior PSU bankers.
After the meeting, Mr. Chidambaram told reporters, "I have asked them (bankers) to get ready for the rollout of LPG for the whole country."
New Delhi, April 6 : The government is planning to start transferring the subsidy for cooking gas in cash under the direct benefit transfer scheme, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said Saturday.
Addressing a media conference here, Chidambaram said he would soon meet Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily and sort out the issues related to the direct cash transfer for liquified petroleum gas (LPG).
"We want to quickly move the LPG subsidy to direct benefit transfer scheme. The decision will be taken in a next few days when Moily and I meet," he said.
India's union Finance Minister P Chidambaram has reached out to Akhilesh Yadav, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh with praise for his work and also promised central assistance for the development of the state.
Lucknow, March 29 : Finance Minister P. Chidamabaram Friday said the central government was committed to the development of Uttar Pradesh and that it would look into the state government's request of financial assistance in this regard.
"UP is a very important state and I would like to assure Netaji (as Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh is referred to by his supporters) that the union government is committed to the development and progress of the state," Chidamabaram said while inaugurating 300 new bank branches in the state at a function here.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was also present at the opening ceremony.
Lucknow, March 29 : Over cups of steaming coffee, idli and sambhar, union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav Friday talked business as speculation mounted over the future of the Samajwadi Party (SP)-Congress equation.
The meeting comes amid speculation that the SP and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) are headed for a split.
Lucknow, March 28 : Efforts of the Uttar Pradesh government to increase the ratio of banks to population in the state are set to get a major boost Friday as union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram comes here to inaugurate
300 new bank branches.
The new bank branches, to be inaugurated in the presence of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, come up after months of lobbying by the state government with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that the state needed at least 3,000 new branches to come at par with the all India ratio of banks per population.
Durban, March 27 : In a clear signal of their ascendance in the geopolitical space, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa Wednesday gave their go-ahead to a BRICS bank, rivalling the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to address the development challenges of poor and emerging economies.
The leaders, who met for the 5th BRICS Summit here -- where the Indian delegation was led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh -- also endorsed a $100-billion contingency reserve arrangement that will be deployed when any of the five member-nations faces a crisis.