New Delhi, September 7; Grappling with the stressed economy, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said “hard decisions” would be taken in the next few days and weeks to trim wasteful expenditure and curb import of “inessential” items.
“We are going through a period of stress…we have to take some hard decisions. Many of these measures are being taken, and many measures will be announced in next few days and weeks. Some measures to curb import inessential items will also be announced.
“All these measures taken together will have beneficial impact,” he said, winding up a debate on Appropriation Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
Describing inflation as the worst form of taxation which hit the poorest the most, he said, the government would be coming out with more measures to deal with the price situation.
On the issue of hiking oil prices in the backdrop of rising prices in the international market and rupee depreciation, Mr Chidambaram said “no decision has been taken and no decision will be taken in haste” and the government will weigh pros and cons before announcing any step.
Responding to the suggestion for cutting taxes on petroleum products, he said the matter could be considered provided states too agree to reduce the incidence of tax on oil goods.
Attributing the sudden fall in the value of rupee to the May 22 announcement of the US Federal Reserve regarding withdrawal of monetary stimulus, he said the government will take more measures to increase flow of capital to contain volatility in forex market.