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No cause for alarm on economic front: PC

Bhopal: Stepping out of the capital, the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Media today held an interaction with journalists here to assuage concerns over the current economic situation, saying there is no cause for alarm or panic. "Just as we recovered after 2008-09, we are confident we can recover in 2012-13 and 2013-14. Kindly remember that we are subject to what is happening in the international arena," Home Minister P Chidambaram said here.

Chidambaram said in the first of the media interaction programmes of the GoM in state capitals that he was here to mark the completion of three years of UPA-II as "there is much to be satisfied about but there are also challenges." Along with two other member of the group–Law Minister Salman Khurshid and Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy, he said, "2011-12 has been a year of declining growth because of the Eurozone crisis. While we recognise the challenges the economy faces, I want to say on behalf of the government that there is no cause for alarm or panic."

The ministers were here to meet Bhopal gas victims and activists in the wake of the Supreme Court asking the government last month to take a decision on the disposal of toxic waste left in the aftermath of the disaster in 1984 which had claimed thousands of lives. "The Centre had spoken to the governments of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra but all of them refused to allow disposal of the toxic waste," the Home Minister, who visited the Bhopal Memorial Hospital, set up for gas tragedy victims, said.

"Before saying anything about the manner in which the present situation was being handled, one must remember that there were different contexts in which the UPA-I and UPA-II were functioning," the former Finance Minister said making a reference to the economic scenario. At the time of UPA-I, the international financial situation was "very good" and because of that the government was able to achieve a growth rate of nine per cent, he said. "Things had changed drastically under the UPA-II and right now, barring Germany, no other European nation has been able to show any growth," he said.

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