No plans for selective stimulus package: Mayaram

New Delhi, Sept. 23 : Finance Secretary Arvind Mayaram on Monday said that India has no plan to offer a special window to lend funds at lower interest rates to companies in some sectors, and added that the country's banks are not yet prepared to appraise projects for longer durations of time.

"Banks also, I believe in India, have not yet developed the capability of appraising projects for a longer period of time, for a longer term debt. So, they are comfortable with shorter-term debts that they give. The IDFs (infrastructure debt fund) in turn must develop this long term appetite and we are working now with the Reserve Bank to ensure that when the IDFs steps in, takes over loan portfolio of a project it should actually be incentivized to stretch the debt," Mayaram said.

Mayaram said that the government or the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) does not target any rate.

"I said that that is the real effective exchange rate and that is what has been calculated to be which is in relation to the currencies of our trading partners. It is economic concept and I also said that the government or the RBI does not target any rate," he said.

The Ministry of Finance and the RBI were considering a selective stimulus plan that involved a debt-buying programme for eligible companies.

Growth has slumped in the first quarter of the 2013-2014 year, and presently reads at 4.4 percent.

Mayaram also stated that a fall in bulk diesel demand this fiscal year will save the government about USD 1 billion.

Diesel accounts for over 40 percent of fuel consumption in the world's fourth-biggest energy user, whose crude import bill was USD 144 billion last fiscal year.

--ANI (Posted on 24-09-2013)

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