Chanda Kochhar says bring back growth, vibrancy into economy

Written by PTI | Gandhinagar | Updated: Feb 20 2014, 01:51am hrs
Chanda KochharChanda Kochhar was speaking at a seminar on 'Financial Services-a key driver for economic growth' at the GIFT City. Reuters
ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar today said "growth and vibrancy" need to be brought back into the economy to make India a financial services hub.

"The large macro thing that we need to do for India is to become a financial service hub. (For that) first bring back growth and vibrancy in the domestic economy, which would include stable levels of fiscal deficit and current account deficit; and bringing inflation under control," Kochhar said.

She was speaking at a seminar on 'Financial Services-a key driver for economic growth' at the Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City, with chief minister Narendra Modi in the audience.

The top banker also stressed upon creating a deeper and vibrant working environment in the country.

"...The next set of initiatives would be regarding regulation, legal environment and taxation. It is not only the existence of such regulatory and legal environment that is important but the consistency in policy and taxation laws is most important," she said.

"When people come and invest in India they invest on a certain premise, and the fact that the very premise can change worries them a lot. This becomes an inhibiting factor for them (in) starting to invest in India," she said.

Kochhar also expressed the need to deepen capital markets and the bond currency, and to make the derivatives market much more vibrant.

"Finally, there is need to create an environment that goes beyond work space. This will help attract global talents and even retain the talents available in India. As we move in that direction, there is room to increase the scope of financial services in India.

"There are lots of India-related business which is nourished overseas. I mean India related business that is done off-shore. There are lot of funds that are invested in India and run by Indians but are being operated from outside, mainly because of the taxation laws," Kochhar pointed out.

Hinting at the need for swift governance, Kochhar said "getting small things like Visa or driving licence should be made easier as we, in financial service sectors, are dealing with financial regulations and tax constraints," she said.