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Sitharaman holds 3rd pre- Budget consultation with stakeholders from financial sector

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held third pre-Budget consultation meeting with the stakeholders from the financial sector and capital markets on Thursday.

Issues relating to the capital markets, financial sector, Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) among others were the main areas of discussion during the meeting, read a statement.

Along with Sitharaman, the meeting was attended by Anurag Thakur, Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Subhash C. Garg, Finance Secretary, Girish Chandra Murmu, Expenditure Secretary, Ajay Narayan Pandey, Revenue Secretary, Rajeev Kumar, Secretary, DFS, Atanu Chakraborty, Secretary, DIPAM, Pramod Chandra Mody, Chairman, CBDT, P.K Das, Chairman, CBIC, K.V. Subramanian, CEA and other senior officials of Ministry of Finance.

With a view to give boost to Indian markets, the representatives of financial sector and capital markets submitted several suggestions concerning infusion of capital in niche/regional banks, enhanced role of Financial Sector Development Council, on the NBFC sector, need to distinguish between solvency, governance and liquidity issues was mentioned along with creation of dedicated liquidity window for NBFC sector, review of interest rates on government’s Small Savings Schemes, review of banking NPAs provisions through setting-up a Committee.

Other suggestions submitted included enhancing financial literacy programmes and funding, incentivising agricultural marketing, setting-up of Debt Exchange Traded Fund, domestic capability building in Audit and Credit Rating, making available trade licence online for MSME sector, provision to ease liquidity pressures created due to insolvency, rationalisation of various taxes like Security Transaction Tax (STT) in capital market, setting-up of a separate bond exchange, allowing banks to invest in InvITs to access broader market and make Corporate Tax progressive to incentivise MSME Sector among others.

Major stakeholders of financial sector and capital markets participated in the meeting including N. S. Vishwanathan, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India, Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, State Bank of India, Sunil Mehta, Chairman, PNB and Indian Banks’Association, T.C. Suseel Kumar, MD, LIC, Rakesh Mohan Diwan, Senior Vice President – Corporate Affairs-The Muthoot Group, Rajiv Anand, ED, Axis Bank Ltd, Ashu Khullar, CEO, Citibank India, Abheek Barua, Chief Economist, HDFC Bank Ltd., Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, Chairman & MD, Bandhan Bank, , N.S. Venkatesh, CEO, Association of Mutual Funds in India, Raman Aggarwal, Chairman, Finance Industry Development Council and Sr. Vice President, Srei Equipment Finance Ltd., and Ravi Kumar Narra, National Working President, Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar said, “Made lot of suggestions on infra financing and reviving the economy. SBI does not need more capital from government, so not sought capital in today’s meet.”

Meanwhile, IDBI MD Rakesh Sharma shared that in the meeting, suggestions were made to enhance corporate bond markets.

“Liquidity and solvency issues of NBFCs need to be handled separately and on a case to case basis. Suggestions were made to introduce a special liquidity window for NBFCs. Trying to recover NPAs and turnaround IDBI Bank,” he said.

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