RBI to issue draft ECB norms ‘very shortly’

The Reserve Bank of India will “very shortly” come out with a draft paper on liberalising certain external commercial borrowings (ECB) norms, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said on Wednesday.

“We cannot have the luxury of giving two months time for discussion because enough has been said and enough has been heard. Now, the time has come to decide and move forward,” Mr. Das said while speaking at the ‘Global Investors India Forum’ organised by Assocham.

“So, a very short time window will be given for some suggestions just to ensure we have not lost out on any point. It will be our effort to liberalize ECB.” The government expects a big boost in investments in India due to the new ECB norms, the replacement of gold by financial instruments, and a stable tax regime, Mr. Das added.

“Regarding foreign direct investment reforms, a series of measures have been taken in the last one and half years, sectors have been opened up but there is still lot more to do. FDI policy in our country has certain kind of conditionality and restrictions. The effort is to have FDI policy simple and progressive. We must move in the direction of more sectoral reforms, liberalising the sectoral caps and eventually having a policy that is simple, progressive and easily understood without too much conditionality,” Mr. Das said.

The higher acreage of kharif sowing of cereals and pulses, even though it was a marginal increase, despite the deficient monsoon, was a “silver lining” in the Indian economy, Mr. Das said.

The steady fall in inflation, and the government’s endeavours to relieve stressed assets, will reduce bottlenecks in investments, he said.

The Centre expects a big boost in inflows

due to the new norms