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Home > Business > Business Headline > Report


FIIs to be encouraged, says draft agenda

BS Economy Bureau in New Delhi | May 22, 2004 08:58 IST

The second draft of the common minimum programme has promised to encourage foreign institutional investors in an attempt to deepen the financial markets.

"The interests of small investors will be protected and they will be given new avenues for safe investment," the draft says while issuing a warning to market manipulators that "strict action will be taken against those who try to engineer market panic".

The 17-page document, which the Congress circulated among its allies and the Left parties, seeks to reverse the jobless growth seen during the National Democratic Alliance regime by, among other things, providing a legal guarantee of 100 days of employment for all.

It states the new government's commitment to ensure the welfare of all workers, particularly those in the unorganised sector who constituted 93 per cent of the workforce.

The draft programme pitches for a sustained 7-8 per cent GDP growth, elimination of the revenue deficit by 2009 and a commitment to a nationwide value-added tax. It gives priority to agriculture, infrastructure, employment-oriented growth and rural investment.

It has ruled out divestment in profitable public sector undertakings and public sector banks. They will be encouraged to enter the capital market to raise resources and offer new investment avenues to retail investors.

The common minimum programme will work on six basic principles of governance, including social harmony, enhanced welfare and well-being of farmers and sustained 7-8 per cent GDP growth.

Besides seeking an increase in public spending in education and health to 6 per cent and 2 per cent of the GDP, respectively, the programme says India has the potential to attract 2-3 times the foreign direct investment it does now.

Hence, FDI will be encouraged in key sectors. To reform public administration, it adds that an Administrative Reforms Commission will be set up.

The United Progressive Alliance will take up privatisation on merit with a focus on using divestment receipts for social schemes.

"The UPA government is pledged to devolve full managerial and commercial autonomy to successful, profit-making companies operating in a competitive environment," it says.

Emphasising on the direct link between privatisation and social needs, particularly the use of divestment receipts for social schemes, it says privatisation should increase competition, not decrease it.

A new take on the economy

  • Sustained GDP growth of 7-8%
  • Elimination of revenue deficit by 2009
  • Commitment to VAT
  • India can attract 2-3 times more FDI
  • Reforms commission to revamp public administration

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