FDI reforms, bank licences on anvil: PM

New Delhi: Seeking to boost investor sentiments, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today assured the industry that the government will further relax FDI norms and Reserve Bank will soon start granting bank licences.
He expressed the hope that the impact of the reforms will boost economic growth rate in the second half of this year.
"Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has been liberalised in single brand retail, multi-brand retail, civil aviation and power exchanges. More FDI reforms are on the anvil," he said here at a function.
In big-ticket reforms push, the government on July 16 decided to hike FDI in a sectors like telecom, insurance and defence, to boost the sagging economy.
He also said a new bank licensing policy has been announced and new licences are soon to be awarded.
Citing reform measures undertaken over last one year, the Prime Minister said, sugar has been fully decontrolled and at the same time investment policy for urea has been approved.
He also said railways have corrected their fares for the first time in a decade.
Speaking about GAAR, which has been a subject matter of considerable concern to industry, he said, it has been postponed by two years and there is greater clarity on the rules.
Besides, taxation issues of the IT sector and of development centres have been resolved based on the Rangachary Committee report, he added.
Gas pricing has been corrected to reflect market realities better, he said, adding, procedural improvements have been made in the road sector to improve the economic viability of projects.
"We will persevere with these initiatives and I hope that their impact will be felt in the second half of this year," he said.