Need to reduce cost of doing business in India: Jaitley

There is a need to reduce the cost of doing business in the country to revive the investment cycle, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said.

"The Finance Minister stressed upon the need to improve the business climate and reducing the cost of doing business as important means for revival of the investment cycle," an official statement said today.

He also emphasised on the need for coordinated approach by all sector regulators to achieve financial stability.

"He referred to the high political expectations from the new government and the opportunity now available for resolving long-pending problems facing the economy," the statement said.

Jaitley was speaking at the meeting of the Financial Sector Development Council (FSDC) on Saturday. It was attended by financial sector regulators including the Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan and Sebi Chief U K Sinha.

The minister also cautioned against slackening the vigil in the area of fiscal consolidation.

Finance Secretary Arvind Mayaram briefed the council on the macro-economic situation and improvement in twin deficits.

"However, there is a long way to go in terms of reviving economic growth, controlling inflation especially food inflation, keeping deficit under control, addressing infrastructure bottlenecks," Mayaram said.

He added that there is a need to continue to be in a state of preparedness for managing external sector vulnerabilities.

Economic growth slowed to 4.7 per cent in 2013-14 and retail inflation stood at a 3-year high of 8.59 per cent in April.

Besides, fiscal deficit narrowed to 4.5 per cent of GDP in 2013-14 from 4.9 per cent in previous year. The current account deficit (CAD), which is the difference between inflow and outflow of foreign funds, dropped to 1.7 per cent of GDP in 2013-14 from 4.7 per cent in 2012-13.

The financial sector regulators at the meeting presented their suggestions on the forthcoming Budget 2014-15, as also their ideas on next generation financial reforms.

Among others who attended the meeting were IRDA Chairman T S Vijayan, FMC Chairman Ramesh Abhishek, PFRDA Officiating Chairman R V Verma and other government officials.

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