Independent regulator for road, coal sectors soon, says FM
Government will shortly announce an independent regulatory authority for road and coal sectors and setting of tariff in the Railways, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Friday said, promising to carry forward economic reforms although there is little support for the government’s move in Parliament.
Addressing a seminar at the 46th conference of Asian Development Bank here, Chidambaram expressed hope that the government would be able to pass the bills proposing to raise the FDI limit in insurance and pension sectors.
“I am confident there will be forward movement in areas like insurance and pensions," Chidambaram said. His assurance comes despite the logjam in Parliament and the Opposition adamant on not getting any legislation through until Prime Minister Manmohan Singh resigns on the issue of coal scam.
Chidambaram said the government was also addressing the issues related to shortage of coal.
"Alleviation of coal shortages affecting power generation is being addressed by importing coal and assuring supply of definite quantities of domestic coal," he added.
Chidamabram also exuded confidence that India’s economic growth would accelerate to 8 per cent in the next three years from a decade low of 5 per cent expected in 2012-13.
The ADB, however, emphasised that India should continue to undertake structural reforms and increase investments in order to get back to 8-9 per cent growth track in the long term.
President Takehiko Nakao emphasised on Asian region to boost domestic demand and enhance co-operation for regional trade and commerce in the wake of slowing growth in Western world.
Managing Director General Rajat Nag said the constraints posed by supply side must be addressed.
"India growth story is going to be the story of investments," he said, adding fast-track clearances by the CCI, partial deregulation of sugar prices and other measures would help improve investment climate.
†He said growth momentum in India remained positive, there still were challenges. High current account deficit and fiscal deficit also needed to be addressed, he said.