Apr 22, 2013, 12.05 PM IST
The Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who has been on a week-long tour of Canada and US, claimed that investors are convinced about the Indian government's intention and commitment towards reforms, reports CNBC TV18's Gopika Gopakumar.
“I think everyone is convinced about the government's intention and commitment. And as decision are taken and they see that one after another crucial decisions are taken. I think they are more and more convinced that the government is determined to keep the reform process going forward,” he said while attending the G-20 meet in Washington.
Chidambaram has conducted many roadshows since the beginning of calendar year to regain foreign investor’s confidence in Indian economy after the country’s growth tumbled to lowest in a decade.
Reconfirming UPA government’s focus on reforms he said that reform is not about opening up or fixing problems, but making it easier to conduct business.
“Making it easier for capital to flow into sectors that are demanding capital and reform is improving processes, making them more efficient. Reform is bringing about a great degree of clarity and objectivity say in tax laws and decision making,” he said.
After opening up aviation and retail sector for foreign direct investment in last September, the government is trying to push several other reforms. Insurance and Pension Bill, Land Bill and Food Security Bill are some of the crucial bill which government will be discussing in the second part of Budget session scheduled to start next week. Chidambaram said that passing all these bills was crucial part of the reform agenda.
Among other reforms, he said setting up a coal and road sector regulator was of utmost importance. Several industries like power, steel, cement have been under pressure due to limited supply of coal in the country. Several coal mine owners have not been able to start mining due to bureaucratic, legal and environmental hurdles. Getting land for any industrial purpose has also become troublesome for business houses.
At the G20 meet, Chidambaram reiterated his confidence of achieving fiscal deficit target of 4.8% set for FY14. He said that government has already demonstrated its capacity to contain fiscal deficit. Fiscal deficit of 201-13 had been contained at 5.2 percent of GDP lower than 5.3 percent targeted earlier.
Chidambaram further added that G20 meet was preoccupied with European financial issues. He hopes to soon close a free-trade pact with US.
The finance minister confirmed lobbying to credit rating firms for an upgrade in India’s ratings. He said it was feasible to boost country’s growth to 8 percent by 2015-16 fiscal.
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