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Lifetime Achievement:  Mr P Chidambaram, Hon’ble Home Minister

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P Chidambaram-A View from the Inside

P Chidambaram is a rare combination of political maturity coupled with intellectual brilliance. He has the capacity to address any issue logically and consistently. His outstanding performance as a Commerce Minister, Finance Minister and Home Minister is a testimony to that. His first love though, remains law.

As Commerce Minister he dismantled various controls over imports and brought down the import duty very drastically. EXIM scrips were introduced by which additional premium was payable to the exporters. India moved towards the reform of exchange rate regime.

He introduced moderate rates of taxation that resulted in a rise of tax-GDP ratio. His term as Finance Minister saw the highest rise in growth rates in the Indian economy.

Chidambaram had the courage to notify Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act. He rationalized the tax administration side by underlining the importance of information technology and introduced the requirement that companies have to file electronically.

He played an important role in introducing VAT. He ensured that tax administration is simple, straightforward and moving towards a system in which the rates are low, base is wider and exemptions are limited. The Direct Tax Code was completely re-written by him to become simple and easy to understand.

Chidambaram is keen on financial inclusion and believes in a banking system that is commercially viable. The big slew of items which began with Bharat Nirman programmes in terms of extending the reach of credit, rural road connectivity, improved access to agriculture and farming, many initiatives in the areas of education and health, all suggest that he was clearly seeking not only high rates of growth but seeking a more egalitarian society.

Given away by Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Hon’ble Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission and Dr C Rangarajan, Hon’ble Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister on 27th Day of March 2012 at New Delhi.