No let up in economic reforms: Mukherjee

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Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee
Washington, June 28: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday strongly refuted observations by US think- tanks, the government and industry that India has gone slow on economic reforms and insisted that a series of reforms are in the process, which will lead to the next round of growth.

However, Mukherjee observed that reforms in India require political consensus, which is being worked upon by the government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Reform is a continuous process and the UPA government is committed to it.

"The more you reform, there is the need for additional reform," he argued addressing a meeting of India and American corporate leaders, policy makers and think-tank members at a conference on the ''US-India Economic and Financial Partnership'' jointly organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Brookings Institute, a Washington-based think-tank.

"We have taken certain steps, as I was talking of structural reforms," said Mukherjee, who arrived in Washington on Monday leading a high-powered Indian delegation for the second India-US Economic and Financial Partnership discussions being held here.

"We have recently finalised the guidelines of the debt bonds. We have also decided that... FDI to be more user-friendly (and) all prior regulation and guidelines have been consolidated into one comprehensive document which is reviewed every six months. This has been done with the specific intent of enhancing clarity and predictability of our FDI policy to foreign investors," he said.

"Ownership and control is now central to the FDI policy and the methodology in this regard has been clearly defined.

Discussions are currently underway to build consensus on further liberalisation of the FDI policy," he said. 

PTI

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