Deshmukh pleads for developing Mumbai as IFC

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New Delhi, Dec 19 (UNI) The Congress-led Maharasthra government today urged the Central government to develop its state capital as international financial centre immediately as any further delay in operationalising it will make the project unviable.

''I would request the Government of India to accord highest priority for development of Mumbai as International Finance Centre,'' Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh pleaded at the 54th meeting of the National Development Council. The report of state government-appointed Percy Mistry committee on the issue has already been submitted to the Centre, he added.

The report, prepared by former World Bank economist and a Hong Kong banker, recommends substantial upgradation of infrastructure of Mumbai Metropolitan Region(MMR) besides focussing on various regulatory and administrative issues involved in the project.

Quoting the committee report, the Chief Minister said financial outgo on account of Indian entities availing of financial services from abroad, mainly Hong Kong,Singapore and London, is sizeable and ''undue delay in operationalising the international financial centre will make the project unviable, especially if some other alternative centre develops in Asia or Middle East.'' The report's recommendations include creation of an overall financial regulator to replace a growing number of independent authorities, plus partial privatisation of public sector banks and insurance companies, formation of active bond and derivative markets and the introduction of full capital account convertibility.


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