Image: Joshua Navalkar
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaks to Fareed Zakaria at the CNN Asia Business Forum 2016 held in Mumbai
Days ahead of the Union Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reiterated the BJP-led NDA government’s commitment to big bang reforms on Sunday. ALSO READ: 'Make in India' has become the biggest brand India ever created: PM Modi
While crediting former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for kickstarting reforms in 1991, Jaitley said that it was only the current government that had heralded second generation reforms. “To be fair to former PM, he started as an FM and did a great job,” Jaitley said at the CNN Asia Business Forum 2016 held in Mumbai. “Second generation reforms have started less than two years ago that the government will continue.”
The government has consistently moved in one direction and the total of all steps taken is “much more than incremental”, he said.
The finance minister repeated his intention of announcing major banking reforms in the upcoming Budget to alleviate the rising non-performing assets of public sector banks. The government is planning to reduce government equity in public sector banks by 51-51 percent while pushing for professionalised bank boards. This comes in line with Jaitley’s recent comments of further empowering banks to recover bad loans.
The government has already unveiled a plan titled ‘Indradhanush’ to infuse Rs 70,000 crore in PSBs over a period of four years, while the banks have to raise an additional Rs 1.1 lakh crore from the markets to meet their capital requirements to meet Basel III norms.ALSO READ: Make in India Week set to rival Hannover Messe
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