Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said that India has shown good growth in the last few years due to public investment and foreign direct investment (FDI) but the best of private sector investment is yet to come.
Speaking at a function here to unveil a commemorative postage stamp to mark 140 years of the BSE, he said that the essence of all economic activity is investment which is going to come from where resources are available.
On the occasion, the finance minister said, “India must seize every economic opportunity coming its
way and the time is ripe for the private sector to step up investments in the economy. India has lost many opportunities and it needs lots of investment to cover up the infrastructure deficit and the industry deficit.”
Jaitley said that urban demand has shown signs of improvement and with a good monsoon this year, rural demand will hopefully also pick up. He further added that the establishment of the BSE in 1875 was the major economic step of transformation.
“The last few years have seen India grow well, essentially grow well on the strength of enhanced public investment (and) FDI. The best of the private sector in that development process is yet to be seen,” Jaitley said.
Stating that the absence of demand has been cited for lack of private investment, he hoped that urban demand would improve. “And since the rain gods appear kinder this year, there would be signs of increased rural demand itself and all these in turn would lead to opportunity for the private sector itself,” he said.
This will lead to a lot more activity at institutions like the BSE, he said, adding that the best of the two stock exchanges — BSE and NSE — is yet to come by.
“It is not to undermine what they have already done in the past, it is to prepare them for greater challenges in future. I’m sure the BSE will get itself ready for their act,” Jaitley added. Speaking at the event, Jaitley said that it was the need of the economy to give birth to the BSE.
Adding to the impact that the exchange has led on the Indian economy, he said, “I think this is the greatest revolution that took place to raise capital in the economy. The very idea of a company having a distinct identity enrolled the prospects of an opportunity to investors to choose and invest as per their needs.”
“It is important to make changes and amendments for India’s oldest stock exchange to prosper and keep the economy going,” added Jaitley.