Millennium Post

Delay in key reforms bothers SEBI chairman

Anguished over delay in key reforms for ‘years and years’, SEBI Chairman U K Sinha on Friday said there is an urgency to revive investor sentiment and arrest the faltering growth.

‘Some of the reforms, which have long been pending and one example being pension reforms... it has been years and years that some of these reforms... are yet to come through,’ Sinha said at the Skoch Summit here.

Listing out the steps that are needed urgently, he said, ‘We all know what happened to FDI in retail, the pension Bill, and the pension reforms are yet another example.’

The pension reforms bill was deferred by the Cabinet Thursday in the wake of opposition from United Progressive Alliance [UPA] ally, Trinamool Congress.

Calling for an urgent need to revive investor sentiment and economic growth, he said, ‘... that is something all of us have to counter very seriously, that how long can we go on deferring this... We cannot become complacent about policy making and implementation domestically.’

The country can still tide over the growth deceleration if some of the urgent reform measures are taken and the issues plaguing the implementation resolved.

Sinha said, ‘If we start making some progress on these things [reforms], then in spite of the forecast about our economy coming down from the higher levels of 2007-08; if these policies change...start happening, we can again come to levels which are commendable in comparison to any part of the world. [But] those changes have to take place.’

The SEBI chief said there is no reason why even private parties are not able to implement their projects on time. ‘I am bewildered that if an agreement has been signed between a raw material supplier and a utility, why it is not being honoured.’

The GDP growth hit a nine-year low in FY 2012 at 6.5 per cent due to a number of reasons, which many cite as policy inaction.

Most of the foreign banks and financial services majors like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citi and HSBC have lowered growth prospects to a low of 5.8-6.3 per cent for the current fiscal.
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