Our Bureau

New Delhi, March 20

The Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, today said that the Government would announce the next steps (towards fuller convertibility of the rupee) in the next few days.

"The Prime Minister has made a definitive statement on this issue. The Government and the RBI will announce the next steps in the next few days", Mr Chidambaram said at the CII national council meeting.

Later, Mr Chidambaram told reporters that the Finance Ministry and the RBI had discussions in the run-up to the Budget and that this issue could have been part of the Budget 2006-07. "But it was pulled out of the Budget as it could have overshadowed other fiscal policy announcements" he said.

Asked about the issue, the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, said that the debate in the country was to move forward on the road to full convertibility. ``The question is how far to go,'' he said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 21, 2006)
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