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Economic affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg.
Economic affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg.

India’s pace of reforms intact, deserves a rating upgrade, asserts top official

Economic affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg says India 'deserves' a rating upgrade on the strength of the major structural and fundamental reforms undertaken by the government

New Delhi: Brushing aside concerns of slowdown in the reforms process ahead of elections, economic affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said the pace of reform is reasonably intact and there are no signs of “de-reform" in the system.

“I would suggest still the process of reforms is continuing in reasonably major way. If I can talk about sectors which I directly deal with like portfolio investment, capital markets, whether it is the assets creation, all of those areas are still seeing lot of reforms," he told PTI in an interview.

Last week, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in consultation with the government announced a slew of measures to raise exposure of foreign portfolio investors (FPI) in G-Secs to 30% from the earlier level of 20%.

Besides, the RBI further liberalised external commercial borrowing (ECB) norms by including more sectors in a bid to facilitate cheaper access of overseas funds to corporates.

“The kind of major structural and fundamental reforms undertaken in the country so far are truly global, they are really big," he said, giving examples like the goods and services tax (GST) and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

Consolidation process continues, he said, pointing out that GST stabilisation continues and IBC is also stabilising. “We need to respond to the changes required...changes coming in the GST... In IBC some more measures being taken up. “My judgement is that even though this is an election year now, the pace of reform both in terms of consolidation as well as continuing story is reasonably intact," he said.

Asked if the last year of the present government would halt the pace of reform, Garg said there is no such sign. “What you don’t see are the kind of populist measures which you expect many governments to take in election year, if I can call them a kind of de-reform, de-reform is not at all in the system," he said.

Garg further said India “deserves" a rating upgrade on the strength of the major structural and fundamental reforms undertaken by the government.

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