Open government: Chidambaram to answer 'Googlies'

Finance minister P Chidambaram will respond online to citizens' questions about the union Budget for 2013-14 and discuss the state of the Indian economy with a panel of thought leaders as well as citizens in Delhi on 4 March.

This will be a first ever opportunity provided for citizens to discuss the budget along with thought leaders by joining a multiparty video conference on Google+.

The finance minister will be joined by a group of panellists from Indian and international companies, including JP Morgan's senior Asia economist and India chief economist Jahangir Aziz, Mahindra & Mahindra chairman and managing director Anand Mahindra; and Amit Singhal, senior vice president, Google Inc.

The first Indian politician to use Google+ Hangout was Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the blue-eyed boy of the Bharatiya Janata Party, on 31 August, during his state election campaign.

Over 20,000 questions were received from various parts of the world through mediums including Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Modi's website and special kiosks set up by Google in that event.

A similar event will take place at 8 pm on 4 March, when Chidambaram and others will discuss various issues on the Indian economy.

Citizens will be able to watch the special budget Google+ Hangout 'Live' through the Google India +Page at google.com/+GoogleIndia <http://google.com/+GoogleIndia> or on the IN Conversation YouTube channel.

Before the Hangout, citizens can submit their questions to Chidambaram either by uploading a video or commenting on the YouTube channel, or through the Google India.