P Chidambaram has a simple message for investors disillusioned by India's policy drift: it is no longer 'business as usual' in the corridors of North Block, the sandstone colonial building that houses the finance ministry in New Delhi.
For months, critics have accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government of being asleep at the wheel. Frustrated investors accuse it of both over-confidence and complacency in the face of an economic slowdown that has shattered the country's reputation as 'Incredible India'.
"We have come to a stage where something concrete has to happen," said Rupa Rege Nitsure, chief economist at Bank of Baroda in Mumbai. "The current period is very, very critical for India."
But in the 41 days since his appointment as finance minister - for a third time - Chidambaram has shaken up the ministry and impressed analysts.
He has sought to signal that Asia's third-largest economy finally has someone willing to take tough decisions.
Text: Manoj Kumar and Arup Roychoudhury, Reuters
Images: AP, Reuters and PTI