Govt to push 2nd generation economic reforms

Mumbai: The government today asserted it is committed to second generation economic reforms but said in a multi-party democracy decision-making takes more time than desired.

"There is an area of unfinished agenda of reform process. However, reform is a continuous process. As part of this process, some of the important legislations, including Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill, are likely to be passed by Parliament soon," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said.

Earlier in the day the Union Cabinet approved changes in the PFRDA Bill said it will allow 26 per cent foreign investment in the pension sector but no sectoral caps will be mentioned in the legislation. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill seeks to open the pension sector to private sector and foreign investment. It will be taken up for consideration and passage in the Winter Session of Parliament.

Speaking at the FT-YES Bank Summit here through video- conferencing, he maintained that decision-making in a multi- party democracy takes more time than desired. "In a multi -party democracy system, sometime legislature process takes longer time than desired. But, I can assure that there will be steady forward," he said.

Mukherjee said the UPA government has already taken several steps to give fillip to the reform process. "The second generation reforms…. include the recent deregulation of the savings interest rate, discussions on mode of presence of foreign banks and the process to give additional banking licences to private sector players."

His remarks come amidst charges of paralysis in policy decisions and the government inaction on important economic issues have been a matter of debate in the recent past, with many industry leaders, seeking urgent steps from policymakers to tackle the issue.