P. Chidambaram is a former Union Minister of Finance and has also served as the Union Minister for Home in the Government of India. He is an eminent lawyer practicing in the Supreme Court, India’s Apex Court. A public intellectual and author, his collection of articles was published in 2008 under the title ‘A View from the Outside: Why good economics works for everyone’. He writes a regular column on the economy, politics, social issues, foreign policy and contemporary affairs. He is a member of the Indian National Congress, the country’s oldest political party.
As the Finance Minister in 1996–98, P. Chidambaram brought discipline in government spending and launched an ambitious tax reform program to tackle an unwieldy fiscal deficit. His budget for 1997-98 earned widespread praise as the “dream budget”. In 2008, his move to waive farmers’ debt played a crucial role in boosting aggregate demand in the Indian economy and effectively insulated India from the impact of the global financial crisis. He has been credited even by his critics for ably and almost single-handedly steering India’s economy during the challenging times of 1997-98 (the Asian Crisis) and 2008 (the Great Recession). He has addressed various global forums including the World Economic Forum. He has delivered lectures at renowned Universities and academic institutions.
In the wake of the terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008, P. Chidambaram was appointed as the Union Home Minister given his reputation for firmness, competence and efficiency. He took a number of bold steps that galvanized the Ministry of Home Affairs. He was praised for resolutely containing the violence in the north east region of India, in Jammu & Kashmir, and in the States affected by left wing extremist violence. He established the National Investigation Agency, revived the Multi Agency Centre, and piloted the work of establishing NATGRID. He oversaw the biggest surrender by armed rebel groups in the State of Assam.
P. Chidambaram as Union Finance Minister of India served as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) during 2005-2006 and 2012-2013. He also served as a member of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMF) and the Development Committee (World Bank). He represented India during the meetings of G-77 and G-20 countries.
P. Chidambaram is a trustee of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.
P. Chidambaram hails from the Sivaganga District, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. He studied at the Madras Christian College Higher Secondary School and the Loyola College, Chennai. After graduating with a BSc degree in statistics from the Presidency College, Chennai, he did his Bachelor of Laws at the Madras Law College and his MBA from Harvard Business School in the class of 1968.
1984 – 1999 : Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
1985 – 1989 : Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India
1986 – 1989 : Minister of State for Internal Security, Government of India
1991 – 1992 : Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce, Government of India
1995 – 1996 : Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce, Government of India
1996 – 1998 : Minister of Finance, Government of India
2004 – 2014 : Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
2004 – 2008 : Minister of Finance, Government of India
2008 – 2012 : Minister of Home Affairs, Government of India
2012 – 2014 : Minister of Finance, Government of India