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No policy paralysis in government, says Pranab

Mumbai: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said there is no policy paralysis and the central government has been taking tough decisions like issuing Presidential directive to Coal India to supply fuel to power companies.

"There is no policy paralysis. I would like make it quite clear, a large number of policies have been taken," he said while speaking at the award function of UTV Bloomberg here.

Mukherjee said a Presidential directive was recently issued to state-owned Coal India to ensure supply of coal to power sector companies. "Take the case of manufacturing policy, take the case of decisions of group of ministers to remove the constraints of fuel supply to the power ministry and ultimately leading to the presidential direction to CIL. These are just few instances", he said while replying to a question related to policy paralysis.

The government also came up with a new nutrient based fertiliser policy, he said, adding "announcement of the policy, its implementation and yield from the policy…it takes some time. There is a gap but there is no policy paralysis as such".

Referring to constraints in implementing decisions, Mukherjee said the ruling party alone cannot take all decisions on its own. "…even if it (a decision) is exclusively in the domain of executive… if the political parties do not agree with the decision, they can undo it by bringing collectively a resolution in the House (Parliament) itself. These are constraints we shall have to keep in mind," he added.

The Finance Minister said it is a fact that "if I can not carry others with us, it will be difficult for me to implement my proposals". Admitting that government has not been able to take allies on board on many issues, Mukherjee said, "But that does not mean that I will not make that exercise and I would not be able to carry them in future".

Government had to suspend its decision to open multi-brand retail sector to foreign investors because of opposition form its ally Trinamool Congress. Earlier, addressing the business leaders, Mukhejree said Indian banks are not expected to have any direct impact of eurozone crisis on account of their negligible exposure to the troubled area.

"However there could be indirect impact on account of funding pressures," he said, adding the scope for counter cyclical financial policy would need to be explored in financial regulation to minimise negative impact of accumulated financial risks.

Mukherjee also said a major challenge in the times ahead would be to meet financial requirement particularly of the unorganised sector and those employed in small and medium enterprises.

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