PM pep talk not enough, ground reality must improve, says Parekh

PM pep talk not enough, ground reality must improve, says Parekh

PM pep talk not enough, ground reality must improve, says Parekh

 Pitching for relaxing “administrative controls” to improve ease of doing business, top industry leader Deepak Parekh said impatience has begun creeping in among businessmen as nothing has changed on ground in the nine months of the Narendra Modi government.

“People of the country and industrialists (think) Modi government will be good for business, for progress, for reducing corruption....However, after nine months, there is a little bit of impatience creeping in as to why no changes are happening and why this is taking so long....The optimism is there but it is not translating into revenues. Any industry you see, when there is a lot of optimism, the growth should be faster,” Parekh told PTI in an interview.

Parekh, a guiding voice of the Indian industry and member of a number of key government committees on various policy and reform matters, further said “Make in India” cannot succeed unless it is made easier for people to do business here and the decisions are fast-tracked. “The thing is that our prime minister had a lucky period in these nine months. The world commodity prices are at all-time low which help India the most,” he said.

Parekh, an eminent banker and Chairman of financial services giant HDFC, has always been very vocal with his views on reform and policy measures taken by the various governments over the past three decades. He was among the first industry leaders to openly criticise the previous UPA government for “policy paralysis” after a spate of scams led to decisions getting delayed within the government and business began getting hurt.
Parekh cited the example of delay faced by his own group’s HDFC Bank, the country’s top private sector lender: “Things are happening at such a speed around the world, we need to move faster as well. Just to give you an example of our own case, we needed to raise some capital in HDFC Bank.

“It took more time this time than earlier years to get approvals from FIPB etc. People were helpful but processes have not changed. Now we are a 20-year-old organisation and we are within the limits (of 74 per cent foreign investment cap). Why can’t they change these things. Why can”t the administrative controls be relaxed?” He said the final approval letter came on the last day, after which the issue of Rs 10,000 crore had to be postponed as there were other listing deadlines of Indian and the US stock markets to be met.

“It is very difficult. And it is only administrative and what does it achieve? If it is within the limits, why should it go to Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs. Why spend the Prime Minister’s time on such things as he chairs the CCEA.

“If it is a controversial issue, something on security or on defence or some other very important issue, then it can, but not for simple commercial transactions. Someone must take the initiative to remove this,” he said.

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