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New govt will need to focus on infra investment: Parekh

Expressing concern over decline in infrastructure investment, HDFC chairman on Thursday said infrastructure investment has derailed in the past two years and revitalising investment in the sector will be a big task for the new government.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2014 10:22 PM IST

Expressing concern over decline in infrastructure investment, HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh on Thursday said infrastructure investment has derailed in the past two years and revitalising investment in the sector will be a big task for the new government.

At India Economic Convention organised by India Foundation, Parekh said the country needs $1 trillion in the 12th Plan of which 47% was to come from private sector, but it has not happened in the first two years of the Plan period.

Concerned over surging NPAs in banks, the banker said "as we speak, 11 banks have NPAs of over 5%". In absolute terms to be about 4 lakh crore of which about would be required to be "written off". Majority of this NPA comes from infrastructure sector, he added.

To deal with such situation, banks need more capital. But banks, he said, has "inherent problem" in raising equity as government's capital infusion is "inadequate".

For current fiscal govt infused Rs 14,000 crore in PSU banks and has earmarked Rs 11,200 crore for next.

Parekh stressed on deepening of equity markets to deal with the problem.

Listing out a 10 point agenda for the new government, he said India needs to privatise coal sector to reduce dependence on imported coal, which is a huge drain on exchequer.

He stressed on inter-ministerial coordination so that they do not work in silos.

The banker advocated corporatisation of railways, improving existing urban infrastructure in addition to development of new cities and FDI in different spheres of economy.

Parekh further said politicians need to back bureaucrats in policy making to boost their moral and confidence.

Lamenting that India fares poor on ease of doing business in global list, he said the next government should work towards improving this.

There is also need for clear and transparent policy for furthering business confidence, he added.

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