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India Inc needs to think 'big and bold', make more investments: Govt official

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Mumbai, Dec 27 (PTI) India Inc needs to think "big and bold", and kickstart a new private sector investment cycle, the Department of Financial Services Secretary Vivek Joshi said on Wednesday.

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Joshi also asked banks to include stress testing of cyber risks as part of the risk assessment framework.

It can be noted that the private sector has been reluctant to invest despite tailwinds like robust economic growth, while some experts also point out to capacity utilizations touching newer highs.

In the recent past, bankers have spoken about some greenshoots in investments which are generating loan demand for them.

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Speaking at the annual SBI Banking and Economic Conclave here, Joshi said there is a need for a new cycle of private investment, and added that only the central and state governments have been investing in the recent past for infrastructure building.

"The need of the hour is to think big, and think bold by ensuring that execution remains timely and robust," he said.

The government has been helping with the right policy mix, including tweaks to the bankruptcy laws, forming a bad bank to take care of sour assets, having a dedicated institution to finance projects etc, he said, adding that India's economic outlook is "realistically optimistic".

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Joshi also asked banks to "reassess" their approach, and consider looking at project conceptualization and structuring in case of potential investors.

He said banks, entrepreneurs and the government are key cogs for ensuring that private capital expenditure happens, and added that there is a need for all the stakeholders to pull in a single direction.

It is equally important that small ticket loans for employment generation grow even faster, he said, reminding that deepening of financial inclusion and unlocking potential of citizens is a "national priority and moral imperative".

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The bureaucrat listed out a slew of schemes which are being executed for bettering the conditions of the marginalized people by the state-run lenders, and added that the government will "certainly look forward to leadership and initiative from private banks in this direction".

Meanwhile, Joshi also stressed on the need to improve the security architecture at all the institutions involved in financial intermediations given the reliance on technology.

"The financial institutions, particularly banks, need to move a notch up now and should include stress testing of cyber risk as part of the risk assessment to gauge the impact in case any cyber attack happens on their systems," he said, adding that lenders in Europe and Singapore have already undertaken similar efforts.

He also asked players to up their guards against deepfakes, and ensure that such technologies are not used to dupe customers.

"Banks and fintechs need to be ever alert and upgrade their tools in order to protect their digital assets from these emerging trends," he said, speaking on deepfakes. PTI AA DRR

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