Deepening bond market is a priority area for India – Arun Jaitley

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Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today asserted that deepening the bond market, especially in the retail area, is a top priority area for India. Delivering the valedictory address at the BRICS Seminar on ‘Challenges in Developing the Bond Market in BRICS Nations’ held in Mumbai, Mr. Jaitley said the government has already proposed certain measures in the budget and also accepted most of the recommendations of the Khan Committee report. “Over the next 6-8 months most of the suggestions about deepening bond markets would be implemented. We can look for a far deeper bond market in the country” he added.

Mr Jaitley said that despite global uncertainties, India has managed to post a good level of growth. “We in India have managed to post a good level of growth, but not completely satisfactory level. We aim for higher growth” he said.

He said in the last few years, India has opened up its economy, rationalized its tax structures and placed increased importance on ease of doing business to attract more people to invest in the country. “In a global environment where demand is higher, where economic activities are expanding, one of our attempts is to project India as one of the most attractive destinations for investments. If we aspire to grow further, we need to look at areas where deficits exists – for example , infrastructure”

Mr. Jaitley said India’s plans to modernize its railways, ports and airports, highways, building smart cities, ambitious renewable energy programme present immense investment opportunities. He said public finances need to be supplemented by private investment and hence India besides FDI looks to deepen its bond market.

The Finance Minister said the BRICS nations comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa account for 45% of the world population and their contribution to global GDP is about 37%. “These are all emerging economies and each one of them at different periods in the last few decades has faced different challenges in their endeavour to grow. Each one has an experience to share” Mr. Jaitley added.

Earlier, Economic Affairs Secretary, Shaktikanta Das said the government would facilitate corporates to access bond markets in order to reduce their reliance on bank finances. “Banks are readjusting their finances given the problem of stressed assets. Under the circumstances, it is very necessary to inject a lot of buoyancy in the bond markets” he said.

The day long BRICS Seminar, organized by the Department of Economic Affairs in collaboration with CII was inaugurated by SEBI Chairman U K Sinha, who stressed upon development of local currency bond markets in BRICS nations.

Representatives of Russia, China, Brazil and, South Africa, experts of international financial institutions participated in the Seminar. CII’s Chandrajit Banerjee presented the summarized recommendations of the seminar to the Finance Minister.

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