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Need to be patient for policies to reflect on ground: Kochhar

Chanda Kochhar

 Mumbai  :   It will need “a lot of patience” for the real impact of the Modi government’s economic policies to be seen on the ground in a “complex country” like India, top banker Chanda Kochhar said today.

Her comments come a day after BJP leader Arun Shourie said that the “policies are same” of the present government when compared to the previous Congress-led UPA government.

“We have to understand that India is a complex country. Everything takes time for the real impact to get translated to the economy. And that is what we are seeing today. I think we need a lot of patience… (and) give more time to actually start seeing results in the real economy,” ICICI Bank’s CEO and Managing Director said here.

“India is moving in right direction, (but) results take longer in a complex country and there are already some greenshoots that are visible,” she said while addressing the Canada-India Business Forum here.

Shourie, who was a Union Minister in the previous NDA government, had also said managing economy was being seen as “managing the headlines” and that people had started recalling the days of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“There is clearer belief (in the present dispensation) that managing economy means managing the headlines and this is not really going to work,” he had said, while adding that everybody in the present government was doing very hard work but that was not resulting in “big things” which was also a problem during the UPA regime.

Kochhar, however, reposed her faith in the government’s resolve to get things moving and said the journey from here on will only be “more positive” for the economy.

The democratic structure comes with its own set of challenges and bankers can vouch for the progress which is happening, said Kochhar, who heads the country’s biggest private sector bank.

Exuding confidence that the GST, the biggest indirect taxation reform, will get passed by end of the year, she said state elections like the ongoing ones in Bihar will have a direct bearing on how the government moves ahead with reforms as it may eventually affect the numbers in the Upper House of the Parliament.

She further said there have been marked changes for the better in the last 15 months on a slew of parameters which point towards improvement in the macroeconomic conditions.

These include a growth in the forex assets, rupee outperforming its peers, decline in the current account deficit and inflation getting under control, she said.

“Apart from that, we have witnessed some rate cuts which will be helpful for the industry,” she said.

Speaking about the Modi government, Kochhar said she has not seen any regime in the past easing FDI limits in critical sectors within a year as this.

“A demography that is digitising rapidly, and the potential to invest in infrastructure, are the key strengths of India,” she added.

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