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BW Businessworld

Fixing The Fisc

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has indicated that tough measures will be needed to get the Indian economy back on track. And, as a consequence, there will be hardship in the short term. BW spoke to a cross-section of opinion makers to get a lowdown on the pain points

“Rationalise subsidies on food, fuel and fertilisers; privatise loss-making PSUs, and expedite the implementation of GST to raise revenue. Also, tame food inflation by announcing measures for private sector engagement in storage and movement of agricultural products.”
— Naina Lal Kidwai,  Director, HSBC Asia Pacific and Chairman, India

“The fiscal deficit has to be controlled and the current account deficit should not be more than 2 per cent under any circumstances. Measures need to be taken for inflation control. ”
— Venugopal N. Dhoot, CMD, Videocon Industries

“Power distribution companies need to be financially viable. For this, a mandatory annual increase in power tariffs is necessary.”
— KameswarA Rao, Leader, Energy, Utilities and Mining, PwC
Abheek Barua,  Chief Economist, HDFC Bank
“The toughest moves by the government would be phasing out of subsidies and downsizing NREGA. The government could save nearly Rs 4 lakh crore by withdrawing subsidies. For generating revenue, the government needs to widen the scope of advance tax to even luxury products, cars and property.”
— Subba Rao Amarthaluru, Group CFO, RPG Group

“Limit coverage of NREGA and food Act. Cut petroleum subsidy as it is a rich man’s subsidy. Otherwise, raise more money through disinvestment.”
— Abheek Barua,  Chief Economist, HDFC Bank

“Curb subsidies on fuel, deregulate diesel, relax rigid labour laws, implement nationwide GST in a time-bound manner, simplify land acquisition process in order to resume infrastructure projects and remove retrospective tax amendments.”
— Brijesh Mehra, Managing Director and Head, International Banking, India & South-east Asia, RBS

“Streamline subsidies and take a long hard look at centrally sponsored schemes to cut expenditure. Options in what may be a drought year are limited.”
— Pronab Sen, Country Director, IGC India Central Programme

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 14-07-2014)