"People Think India Is a Poor Country. It Is Not"

When he served as India's finance minister from 1996 to 1998, Palaniappan Chidambaram became known as a forceful economic reformer. After a stint in the political wilderness, Chidambaram returned to his old job last year in a new role: poverty fighter. He spoke to Time's Aravind Adiga in his office in New Delhi.

TIME: You said in your budget speech that "India is not a poor country, yet a significant proportion of our people are poor." Are you trying to redefine India's image?
Chidambaram: Yes. A number of people both within India and abroad think India is...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!