The banking system is a proxy for the Indian economy. How strong the real economy is will get reflected in the banking system as well, said Dinesh Khara, the SBI Chairman, at the 9th SBI Banking & Economics Conclave.
CNBC-TV18's Shereen Bhan spoke to the panellists at the event about the road ahead for the Indian economy. Besides Khara, the panel comprised L&T CFO Shankar Raman; Managing Director of Crisil Ratings Gurpreet Chhatwal; CEO of Technocrat Navneet Kumar Saraf; Joint MD of JSW Steel Seshagiri Rao; and Founder and CEO of Jupiter Jitendra Gupta.
Khara said in the current fiscal year, India is standing as the brightest star across the globe and the same is being replicated in the performance of the banking sector.
Chhatwal spoke about the bond market, which has been a bit of a challenge for the last 18 months. "Today, banks are doing the heavy lifting, we are creating building blocks within the bond market for that growth," he said, adding that the bond markets have matured significantly in terms of investors that are coming in, the quality of paper that is coming in, the infrastructure financials, etc.
Raman said India is in a unique place in terms of growth. "We went through the turmoils of the last two years rather well. That has given us a sense of self belief," he said. Everyone believes that India is in a good position to dream about its aspirations over the next 25 years, he added. "The name Amrit Kaal is fitting because it does say how we feel about India," he said.
Saraf and Rao spoke about India's role as manufacturers. Rao said this is the first time the manufacturing sector is being used to its hilt —it is at a three-year high. "When the manufacturing sector is creating capacity in India, it is not only for India it is also for export markets," he said, adding that when countries across the globe are concerned about recession, India is growing at the rate of 6-7 percent.
Saraf said for India to achieve its target of $5-trillion GDP in the next three years, export competitiveness would play an important role. "With the China + 1 policy that is prevalent, I think it is a great opportunity for India to expand manufacturing exports," he said, adding that better availability of raw material would help.Gupta said for India to cross $40 trillion by 2024, support from non-linear growth (internet economy) is just as important compared to linear growth (infrastructure, exports, manufacturing, etc). He felt that the digitisation of infrastructure currently on — with the introduction of 5G — would give a clear boost to the $40-trillion goal.