Investors, foreign and domestic, have appreciated that the Budget 2013-14 hasn't gone back on the fiscal consolidation promise, believes economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram. Several investor-friendly decisions announced in the Budget would help accelerate the GDP growth that has faltered, said Mayaram, one of the key persons behind this year's Budget and a trusted member of finance minister P Chidambaram's team. In an interview with KG Narendranath and Himani Kaushik, the 1978-batch IAS officer, who is in his third stint in the finance ministry, said the proposed review of foreign investment norms might result in removal of certain sectoral FDI ceilings and possibly a curtailment of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s role. Mayaram said the proposed PPP model for coal sector would involve a 30-35 years’ concession agreement between Coal India and private players, under which the sale of fuel would be the PSU's prerogative. Excerpts:
The short-term gut reaction of stock markets to Budget 2013-14 was kind of giving a thumbs down (the Sensex plunged to what was then a three-month low on February 28) although it rebounded the day after, appreciating the finance ministry's clarification that validity of tax residency certificates furnished by foreign investors won't be questioned. Two weeks later, how do you think the markets, foreign investors in particular, have rated the Budget?
I think now that people have read the Budget carefully and have understood its true design — incentivising growth (by) ensuring the right environment for investor — there is a more nuanced appreciation