Cautioning against over- dependence on FIIs, which brings in hot money, Chief Economic Adviser Raghuram Rajan today said the government should focus on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and open more sectors to such inflows.
“We have to be careful that we are not overtly dependent on external investors that this is an environment when the external investor is quite fickle…,” Rajan said in his first media interaction. Betting high on India’s reform initiatives, foreign investors have pumped in more than Rs 9,000 crore (about $1.67 billion) in the country’s equity market this month.
“The safest form of financing is through FDI, without any doubt because its long term… If you can make more financing through FDI, you are safer and so to the extent we can open up more to FDI… There will be efficiency, because there will be more competition in local economy,” Rajan said.
In the last couple of days, the government has taken a number of reform initiatives, like opening the multi-brand retail chain to FDI, hiking diesel prices by over Rs 5 a litre, capping the number of subsidised LPG cylinders to six per family a year, allowing foreign carriers to pick up stake in domestic airlines and liberalising FDI rules for broadcasting sector.
Besides, talks are on to increase the FDI cap in insurance sector to 49 percent, from the existing 26 percent. “More FDI is good thing at this point, not in every sector but in many sectors … So in general there is scope for more FDI in many sector, like insurance,” he added. Rajan also underlined the need for aligning domestic petroleum prices with international rates with a view to reducing subsidies and containing fiscal deficit.