Markets: Eerie calm

Markets: Eerie calm

it is not clear when market sentiment can change; as in the past, it can be quite sudden.
At a turn and yet not

At a turn and yet not

RBI could be tempted to cut policy rate to support growth at its bi-monthly review.

Banks, industry must work together: Anand Sharma

Feb 21 2013, 08:44 IST
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Union minister for commerce Anand Sharma was speaking at the FE Best Banks Awards. (Reuters) Union minister for commerce Anand Sharma was speaking at the FE Best Banks Awards. (Reuters)
SummaryUnion minister for commerce Anand Sharma was speaking at the FE Best Banks Awards.

Union minister for commerce Anand Sharma on Wednesday said industrialists and banks should engage in meaningful dialogue to facilitate investment and growth and address challenges facing the economy.

The minister also asked banks to lend to small entrepreneurs, artisans and weavers at affordable costs.

“Economic activity is not an option but a priority and a national imperative,” Sharma said while speaking at the FE Best Banks Awards.

“2012 has been a terrible year both globally and domestically, possibly more challenging than 2008, and the recovery is also more difficult,” the minister said. He observed that if economic activity is not re-energised, there would be social repercussions.

While pointing out that the fundamentals of the Indian economy remained strong, the environment, the minister observed, was full of fear, mistrust and suspicion.

Sharma said the country should focus on its many strengths and cautioned that India should not compete to be the noisiest democracy in the world. “The high savings rate should be channelled into investments,” the minister said.

Sharma observed that the share of manufacturing in GDP is 16% and that it should be taken to 25% by the turn of the decade. The minister added that the government has established integrated manufacturing zones which would facilitate investment through a single window without the problems relating to the acquisition of land since the land would stay vested with the state governments.

Speaking on the forthcoming Union Budget, the minister said it would be challenging for the finance minister to strike a balance between growth and fiscal discipline. “We must not inhibit investments and job creation. India has no option but to go back to the high growth trajectory of 9%.”

Emphasising the need to lend to small enterprises, the minister said there were 105 million employed in the textile industry which is struggling.

FE BEST BANKS AWARDS

And the award goes to...

Lifetime achievement award

YV Reddy

Banker of the Year

Aditya Puri, HDFC Bank

Award for initiative

State Bank of India

Best PSU Bank

Winner: Bank of Baroda

Runner-up: Corporation Bank

Old private sector bank

Winner: Tamilnad

Mercantile Bank

Runner-up: Karur Vysya Bank

New private sector bank

Winner: HDFC Bank

Runner-up: Kotak Mahindra Bank

Best foreign bank

Winner: HSBC Bank

Runner-up: Deutsche Bank

Strength and soundness

HDFC Bank

Efficiency: Deutsche Bank

Credit quality: Deutsche Bank

Growth: Yes Bank

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