Addressing students of Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) here, he said India has some advantages, like the fact 68 percent of population or 83 crore people are below 35 years, reserves of virtually all minerals, large land mass and long coastline.
"If we get our act together and utilise these resources, human and material, invest wisely and efficiently, there is no reason why (India) should not grow at sustained pace of 8-9 percent over the next 10, 20, 30 years. Thats the opportunity available to you," he said.
India has managed to clock an average growth of 8.5 percent between 2004 and 2009, but slipped to 7.2-7.3 percent in the next four years due to global and domestic reasons.
Chidambaram also expressed the optimism that India could become the third largest economy by 2030 (in terms of purchasing power parity) and along with China, the two major global powers by 2050.
He said growth is the only way to produce goods and services in the country. "We must be passionately devoted to growth and the corollary is anything that comes in the way of growth must be stoutly opposed," he said.
The Finance Minster also said that there are only 42,800 people in the whole country who admitted that they had annual income of Rs 1 crore.
"I think we can find 42,800 people with income of one crore in South Delhi alone. Now what does it means. It means that we are deceiving the state, we are deceiving the people of India, we are not willing to pay our taxes," he said.
If everybody pay taxes, he said, the government will have more money to invest which in turn will lead to growth.
He further said there is rampant dishonesty in the society and at some point dishonesty becomes corruption. "When there is rampant dishonesty, there will be rampant corruption," he added.
The central government collects gross taxes of about Rs 12 lakh crore, of which it keeps Rs 8.85 lakh crore and remaining is distributed between states.
Chidambaram said the Income tax Department had sent notices to about 12 lakh people and managed to collect Rs 2,000 crore additional taxes.