Friday, Oct 03, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Jaswant Singh, Union Finance Minister, with G. N. Bajpai, Chairman, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The FM was in Mumbai to lay the foundation stone of SEBI Bhavan on Thursday.
Mr. Singh expressed confidence in the ability of Indian entrepreneurs and called upon them to deal with the complexities of financial structure of the world and he assured them all the support for their endeavour. He was speaking at a function after laying the foundation for the "SEBI Bhavan'' at Bandra-Kurla Complex here today.
Further Mr. Singh, quoting a proverb of Rajasthan, said the sound of hammer and chisel must always continued to be heard in country's developmental activities. "We must not be a victim of change rather we must be agents of change,'' he added.
While addressing the gathering, G. N. Bajpai, Chairman, Securities and Exchange Board of India, said the International Finance Corporation and the Asian Development Bank had approached the capital market regulator to issue debt instruments in India and list them on the stock exchanges. Mr. Bajpai said SEBI along with the Union Finance Ministry was working out the modalities for them to issue debt securities in India.
Mr. Bajpai hoped that more international companies would raise funds from the Indian market as Indian companies were raising funds from other international markets.
The SEBI Chairman also said the market regulator was striving to become more effective and efficient and planning to build up a central database of market intermediaries such as investors, stock brokers and depositories. It appointed National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) to develop this database and was expected to go live by December.
Mr. Singh today felicitated the former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Bimal Jalan, here. Speaking at the function organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, he said Dr. Jalan's counsel was always based on wisdom and experience and appreciated the efforts of Dr. Jalan as a Governor especially with regard to foreign exchange reserves. When Dr. Jalan joined as RBI Governor in the winter of 1997, India's foreign exchange reserves were around $25 billion and today it had crossed $85 billion, and rising every day.
Replaying to the felicitations, the former governor said the Indian economy was in a better position compared to last several decades.
Further narrating the role of central bank as a regulator, Dr. Jalan urged the bankers to follow the best international practices in their financial operations and banking practice.
"Best papers of international standards should be issued by our banks,'' said Dr. Jalan, adding "we have so many problems of corporate governance and we have to improve the delivery system.''
While describing the relations between the Government and the central bank, Dr. Jalan appreciated the present convention and said the harmony and autonomy between the Government and central bank was good and doing well. But when things were bad the relationship must be built on mutual consultation and consent and work together for the progress of the country keeping in mind the short, medium and long term policies, Dr. Jalan added. "Autonomy can work only by convention and not by statute,'' he added.
On the central bank's exchange rate policy, Dr. Jalan said, "India is the currency model of Asia.''
When Dr. Jalan joined as the Governor of RBI the rupee was being severely attacked by currency speculators. Within his first month at the RBI, Dr. Jalan taught the arbitrageurs such a lesson that the rupee was never seriously attacked thereafter.
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