Business Sphere - - Finance Minister - By Our Cor­re­spon­dent

ope­ful of re­mov­ing the bot­tle­necks in in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment, Fi­nance Min­is­ter P Chi­dambaram talks about the steps the government is tak­ing to ease the woes in the power sec­tor and much more. Fol­low­ing are the ex­cerpts of the in­ter­view -Busi­ness Sphere: Con­tin­u­ing with your fo­cus on the in­fra­struc­ture sec­tor, how do you plan to hold in­vest­ment in power sec­tor which is reel­ing un­der fuel short­age, trans­mis­sion bot­tle­neck and land ac­qui­si­tion prob­lems? Chi­dambaram: At the moment, we are only in­ter­ested in en­sur­ing ca­pac­ity planned for this year and the years af­ter for the 12th plan pe­riod are achieved ... The other part and more ur­gent part is stranded power plants must be al­lowed to pro­duce power. The ur­gent part is that the stranded power plants must be al­lowed to or (we) have to find a way to pro­duce power. Our aim is that the tar­get for the (12th) plan pe­riod and year af­ter are achieved, if we are able to cre­ate a ca­pac­ity for ev­ery year as planned and bring it on stream that it­self would be a ma­jor achieve­ment. In the last plan pe­riod (2007-12) we achieved un­der 60,000 MW, this pe­riod we have set our­selves tar­get of 88,000 MW, we have to achieve that. The at­tempt now is to get the FSAs (fuel sup­ply agree­ments) signed for coal or “ta­per­ing link­age” is pro­vided to the plants, we are push­ing that. Busi­ness Sphere: You want rates to be cut and RBI is not will­ing to do that. The re­la­tion­ship is some­what un­easy. Chi­dambaram: The equa­tion be­tween the government and cen­tral bank in In­dia is same as equa­tion be­tween government and cen­tral bank in any coun­try. It is al­ways ar­gu­ing for growth on the part of government and ar­gu­ing for sta­bil­ity and tam­ing in­fla­tion on the part of the cen­tral bank. What we are try­ing to do is ar­gue our case, ar­gue the case for growth, ar­gue the case for tam­ing in­fla­tion and then off course what­ever

P Chi­dambaram Fi­nance Min­is­ter

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