Industry should avoid retrenchment by cutting prices: FM

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New Delhi, Nov 21 (UNI) Finance Minister P Chidambaram today admitted that the Indian economy will witness some lay-offs and slower job creation, but asserted the onus is on Indian Inc to avoid this by slashing prices.

''According to me, industry will not need to lay off workers if it takes the correct rational decisions and cuts prices,'' Mr Chidambaram said in an interview with NDTV 24X7.

He said, ''the surest way to ensure that you continue to produce and sell and grow is to cut prices. But if somebody wants to close down their factory for three days a week, I think it's a very short-sighted approach.'' Asked about comments made by some industrialists that this proposal was not possible at this time, he said, ''I think industry will come around to my point of view that this all entirely manageable and within industry's control.'' Asserting that credit delivery will be fixed by the ''first week of December'', the Finance Minister said, ''We have done a good balancing act so far, interest rates have come down and there is adequate liquidity I would first like the RBI governor to address the issue of ample liquidity. There is a difference between ample liquidty and adequate liquidity.'' Asked why the government had not taken the opposition into confidence in discussing the financial crisis, Mr Chidambaram said he was open to talking to the opposition, but the BJPs eleven point programme ''contained nothing new, nothing that we had not anticipated or acted upon.'' Asked why he had not invited the leader of opposition for talks, the FM said, ''Mr Advani is our own John McCain. I think if he wants to instruct himself on matters relating to business then why should one grudge it. But I don't think he has spoken in the past about economics, but I think if wants to instruct himself that's well and good.'' Asked if the Left should get any credit for the regulation systems in place he said, ''No, the left opposed everything. We have always put regulations in place.'' UNI MP RL RK2135

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