FSDC meeting on Sep 3; to take stock of economy, financial sector

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August 29, 2021 12:24 PM

This would be the 24th meeting of the FSDC and the first during the current financial year as the last meeting was held on December 15, 2020.

Union Budget 2021-22 had identified monetisation of operating public infrastructure assets as a key means for sustainable infrastructure financingThe FSDC meeting will be held via video conferencing on Friday, sources said.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has called a meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) on September 3 to discuss the state of the financial sector and a strategy to support the nascent recovery of the pandemic-hit economy. This would be the 24th meeting of the FSDC and the first during the current financial year. The last meeting was held on December 15, 2020.

The meeting is to be held soon after first-quarter GDP numbers projected around 20 per cent growth against a contraction of 24.4 per cent recorded in the same quarter of the last financial year. Nascent recovery is seen in some of the macroeconomic indicators including improvement in tax mobilisation, credit growth, manufacturing uptick in certain sectors and pick up in exports. The FSDC meeting will be held via video conferencing on Friday, sources said.

Sources also said that the finance minister may ask financial sector regulators to relax and harmonise investment norms for instruments like infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs) to be used to monetise public assets like highways, power and railway tracks. Earlier this month, Sitharaman announced a Rs 6 lakh crore National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) that will look to unlock value in infrastructure assets across sectors ranging from power to road and railways.

Union Budget 2021-22 had identified monetisation of operating public infrastructure assets as a key means for sustainable infrastructure financing. Towards this, the Budget provided for the preparation of a ‘National Monetisation Pipeline’ of potential brownfield infrastructure assets. NITI Aayog in consultation with infra line ministries has prepared the report on NMP.

The aggregate asset pipeline under NMP over the four-year period is indicatively valued at Rs 6 lakh crore. The estimated value corresponds to 14 per cent of the proposed outlay for the Centre under the National Infrastructure Pipeline (Rs 43 lakh crore). Senior officials from the finance ministry will also attend the meeting.

The FSDC is expected to review various aspects associated with the stimulus packages announced by the government to tide over the economic crisis induced by the pandemic. The Reserve Bank of India Governor, and the heads of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority, and International Financial Services Centres Authority are also members of the FSDC.

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