FM discusses budget proposals with financial sector regulators

first_imgNew Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reviewed the state of the economy and discussed various budget-related suggestions and proposals at a meeting with financial sector regulators here on Wednesday. Sitharaman will present the first budget of Modi 2.0 government on July 5 against the backdrop of India’s economy hitting a five-year low growth of 6.8 per cent in 2018-19. Financial sector regulators, including RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, Sebi Chairman Ajay Tyagi, and IRDAI chief Subhash Chandra Khuntia, and top finance ministry officials were present in the meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) headed by the finance minister, an official release said. “As discussed in the other FSDC meetings, there was a general review of the current state of the economy, of the overall macro-economic situation, global developments, and there was a discussion on the forthcoming budget and various budget-related suggestions and proposals,” the RBI governor said after the meeting. The regulators and the concerned secretaries of the government were present in the meeting, he said. The FSDC is the apex body of sectoral regulators. Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar, Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey and Expenditure Secretary G C Murmu attended the meeting along with IBBI chairman M S Sahoo, and Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas. Asked about the outlook for the economy, Das said current situation has already been spelt out after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting earlier this month. “In the post MPC press conference, I have personally elaborated on the risks to global growth. On the outlook for India, for the current year, we have projected 7 per cent. We have also flagged the other issues in the MPC resolution, and in the statement which I made after the MPC. Beyond that I have nothing to add,” he said. Concerns with regard to focus on financial stability have been the underlying theme of all monetary policy decisions, he said. “It is not explicitly stated. Should it be explicitly stated, the jury is still out, and a view has to be taken,” he said. Asked if any stimulus is required to prop up the economy, the governor said, “It is for the government to decide, and its the finance minister’s prerogative to take a call on such matters.” The RBI governor further said that the Bimal Jalan committee, which is looking into the size of capital reserves that the RBI should hold, is likely to submit its final report by June-end. The 20th meeting of the FSDC reviewed the current global and domestic economic situation and financial stability issues including, inter-alia, those concerning Banking and NBFCs, an official statement said. The Council was also apprised of the progress made towards setting up of the Financial Data Management Centre (FDMC) to facilitate integrated data aggregation and analysis as also a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-Fin) towards strengthening the cybersecurity framework for the financial sector, it said. The Council also held consultations to obtain inputs and suggestions of the financial sector regulators for the Budget, it said, adding, all the regulators presented their proposals for the Union Budget 2019-20. The Council also took note of the activities undertaken by the FSDC Sub-Committee Chaired by Governor, RBI and the action taken by members on the decisions taken in earlier Meetings of the Council. Others who attended the meeting included Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy V Subramanian, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India chairman Subhash Chandra Khuntia and Ravi Mital, Additional Secretary, Department of Financial Services & in charge, Chairperson, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority.last_img read more

International communitys patience with Myanmar running out – Ban Kimoon

10 December 2007Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged Myanmar’s authorities to step up their efforts towards democratization and the full respect of human rights, noting that the international community’s patience with the troubled South-East Asian nation is wearing thin. Speaking to reporters in Bangkok, Mr. Ban seized the occasion of Human Rights Day to urge Myanmar’s authorities once more to fully respect the principles of the UN Charter by engaging with the international community, democratizing and promoting human rights.Calling the appointment of a liaison minister who is in contact with Aung San Suu Kyi “a good beginning,” he called for further efforts so that the detained pro-democracy leader and Nobel laureate can engage in an in-depth dialogue with the country’s senior leadership.“I know that the international community is very impatient, and our patience is running out,” he stated, stressing once again that a return to the status quo prior to the Government’s crackdown on peaceful protesters in August and September is “not acceptable and politically unsustainable.”The people of Myanmar have suffered from isolation for a very long time, the Secretary-General stated, adding that it is high time for them to enjoy genuine democracy and freedom. “This is what the international community expects.” Mr. Ban pledged to continue his good offices role through his Special Adviser Ibrahim Gambari, who is scheduled to return to Myanmar at the end of this year or early next year. He also highlighted the special role and responsibility of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) in further promoting democracy in Myanmar.The situation in Myanmar and the work of ASEAN were among the issues discussed by Mr. Ban and Thai Prime Minister Surayudh Chulanont earlier today in Bangkok, the first stop on the Secretary-General’s current three-nation trip, which will also take him to the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, as well as Timor-Leste. The leaders also discussed climate change, UN reform and global public health, according to a spokesperson for Mr. Ban. The Secretary-General also addressed the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and visited, with his wife, the Royal Chitralada projects, a bio-fuel initiative which he described as one of the many examples of the King of Thailand’s commitment and dedication to human development and the environment. The Secretary-General and Mrs. Ban also had an audience with the King and Queen of Thailand in the evening. They are scheduled to arrive in Bali tomorrow. read more

Athabasca Oil first quarter loss widens to 255M

Athabasca Oil Corp. reported a loss of $24.5 million in its latest quarter as the company more than tripled its revenue compared with a year ago on sharply higher production.The oil producer said Tuesday the loss for the three months ended March 31 amounted to six cents per share compared with a loss of $19.7 million or five cents per share a year ago.Total revenue grew to $31.8 million from $8.6 million.The company sold 6,024 barrels of light oil per day in the quarter at an average realized price of $51.65, up from 1,217 boepd a year ago at an average realized price of $43.42.Athabasca production in the quarter was limited by constraints in a third-party transmission line and significant service interruptions at the Keyera Simonette Gas Plant.The company said Keyera completed repairs at its Simonette gas plant in early April, but the plant has continued to be restricted with respect to sour gas processing and liquids handling.It said it expects continued production variability until the issues are resolved.Athabasca reported general and administrative expenses rose to $18.7 million from $11.7 million a year earlier, while financing and interest charges almost doubled to $12.7 million.The company also booked a $21.7-million charge for depreciation and depletion, up from $4.5 million in the prior-year period.In addition to its light oil operations, Athabasca is developing the Hangingstone oilsands project. read more