Industry leaders discuss Indian Economic Reforms at IIM Kashipur’s Finance summit MANTHAN’12

1st Dec 2012, Gautami Heights, Kashipur: Inaugurating the second annual Finance summit of IIM Kashipur, Dr.Gautam Sinha, Director, IIM Kashipur emphasized on the fact that India still faces many barriers in competition and a lot of work is required to be done for financial inclusion. According to Mr. Sinha, MANTHAN’12 aims at providing fresh ideas and insights about the needs of the present, through eye opening talks by domain experts.

MANTHAN is an annual Finance Summit organized by IIM Kashipur to provide a platform for state of the art discussions on the current state and future direction of the Indian economic reforms. The event witnessed a mix of eminent industry personalities from the field of economics, academia and students.

Reflecting on Indian Economic Reforms Dr. M Govinda Rao, Member, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister and Director, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy said that more relaxations in service sector have made India a service centric country where less importance is given to infrastructure or power sector. He added that poor expenditure management and fiscal deficit in conjunction with election and increased petrol prices had led the deceleration of Indian economy in 2008. But at the same time he said that the repercussions can be more severe than the constructive effects of reforms such as price control by government often leads to a misallocation of resources. He emphasized on the fact that government reforms like creation of National Investment Board will be more helpful. Along with this, private sector should invest more & present a road map to government rather than reacting according to reforms.

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Dr. M Govinda Rao Inaugurating Manthan-2012 by lightning the lamp

Mr. Robin Banerjee, Deputy Managing Director of Bilcare Limited stated that debt w.r.t GDP is going down (decreased from 75% in 2006 to 67% in 2012) and the country will continue to grow for at least next 5 decades because it has a median age of 25yrs. which makes it the youngest in the world. But at the same time he said that, in terms of per capita income India stands at 135th position out of 180 countries, which raises a few concern. According to him the motive of economic reforms should be targeted towards removing distortion i.e. creating policies which equally favor rich & poor people and also manage competition. He added that two basic challenges faced by India are, first, lot of paper work which causes delay in getting permission to start a project and second, contractual agreements. In terms of following contractual agreements India stands at 184th position out of 185 countries which stops foreign investors from investing in India. Few of the suggestions given by him which will decrease the fiscal deficit as well as Gini coefficient are decreasing interest rate, selling the surplus land and divestment of loss making government companies.

Dr. D.S. Malik, Managing Director, Amex auto group Co., demonstrated the scenario of Indian auto industry post economic reforms. He emphasized the need of better tax policies. He also focused on labor laws that are currently practiced.

Mr. Ranen Banerjee, Executive Director/Partner, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, was of the view that currently India is having weak macro fundamentals. External factors like high crude oil prices and depreciating foreign exchange rate are among the main reason. He proposed REFORM 2.0, new changes that should be the future of economic reforms in India. It included giving more choices to bottom of pyramid rather than middle class, empowering the state government so that growth is triggered by them & not by center, rule of law i.e. strengthening the judiciary & contract laws in India and focusing more on emerging concepts like impact sourcing.

Dr. V. Ranganathan, Mentor Faculty at IIM Kashipur, RBI Chair Professor on Infrastructure and Member of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said that making economic reforms are not enough, reforms in governance and attitude is the need of hour. Increasing the efficiency & response should be given more attention and reforms should not be limited only to papers but rather be implemented properly.

IIM Kashipur commenced operations from July 2011. The institute offers its flagship two years Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM). The institute is set up with the objective of providing quality management education while sensitizing students towards the needs of the society.

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