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NDA govt on track to change ‘face of economic growth’: KV Kamath

Shreya Sinha

The BRICS-led New Development Bank (NDB) is working towards achieving sustainable infrastructure growth and is inking partnerships with various financial institutions in India and other emerging economies, says president of the development bank and ex-ICICI chief KV Kamath.

“We have already started our operations. Our first set of loans were for green projects as these are imperative to BRICS economies,” said Kamath in his interaction with reporters following an event organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to strengthen bilateral cooperation between India and China, which was held in Mumbai on May 9.

Kamath maintains that India will continue to grow at 7.5 percent when productive assets are put to right use and the unproductive ones are written off.

He is bullish on the economy and will continue to be so, and bets big on India’s GDP figure touching double-digits mark soon.

Juxtaposing the ongoing furore around the non-performing assets (NPAs) in the Indian banking system to that of China’s, Kamath said that China’s NPAs in 2002 were at USD 550 billion, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the mainland’s GDP ( USD 1.2 trillion then).

“China’s NPA has been cleaned up. Our (India’s) NPA are a fraction, only around 5-10 percent of the GDP. I think we should make less noise about it and start working towards finding solutions,” he said.

Kamath strongly believes that the Modi government is on the right track and will soon resolve the outstanding issues that will help change the face of the economic growth in India.

“The Vajpayee government’s schemes like the Golden Quadrilateral project and Gram Sadak Yojana gave a boost to the infrastructure of the economy in 2001-2002, and similar steps have been taken by the present government… the increased initiatives in tangible projects in roads and power sectors, must continue to keep the growth engine running. The government must keep accelerator pressed to the floor,” he added.

Currently, Kamath, along with his team, is working on sanctioning projects for China, but promises to address India by this calendar year itself.