Sharpen the focus on growth: C Rangarajan

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/sharpen-the-focus-on-growth/article17763234.ece
The Hindu, April 3, 2017
Sharpen the focus on growth
C Rangarajan
Excerpts:
“Three things need attention. First, reforms to simplify procedures, speed up the delivery system and enlarge competition must be pursued vigorously. Some significant steps have been taken in this regard in recent years such as moving forward on the GST Bill, passing of the Bankruptcy Act, and enlarging the scope of foreign direct investment.
Second, all viable “stalled” projects must be brought to completion. Third, financial bottlenecks need to be cleared. The banking system is under stress. The non-performing loans of the system have risen and are rising. This has squeezed the profitability of banks with some showing loss. More distressing is the minimal flow of new credit. The problem is often referred to as the twin balance sheet problem. If corporate balance sheets are weak, automatically the banks’ balance sheets also become weak. Really speaking, it is two sides of the same coin.
The solution to clean up the balance sheet of banks lies in taking some “haircuts”. At least some part of the accumulation of bad debts has been due to the slowdown of the economy. The old saying is “bad loans are sown in good times”. Even though a haircut cannot be avoided, wilful defaulters must not go unpunished. Asset restructuring companies are part of the solution and we have some experience of them.”


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