During the Covid-19 pandemic, at least 23 Chinese banks reduced interest rates for business loans while Indian banks just offered a moratorium on which interest was charged, Jagat Shah, the CEO of city-based international trade consulting firm Global Network, told journalism students during an interaction Saturday.
Reducing interest rates on fixed deposits and employee provident fund is “politically sensitive” and so the Indian banks found it difficult to offer loans at four per cent which Chinese banks were able to, Shah said.
He was speaking at a webinar with students of Chimanbhai Patel Institute of Journalism and Communication.
Responding to a question on the “boycott China sentiment” prevailing in India, Shah said most of the power plants in India have got Chinese parts and if goods from that country is boycotted, “it will not only impact the power sector but also the Indian economy”.
“Today, if one needs to set up a power plant and approaches BHEL, the delivery period is six years. In comparison, the delivery period for a power turbine from China is 10 months,” Shah said.
There is similar Chinese influence on India’s telecom, pharmaceuticals, dyeing and chemicals sectors, he added.
“Today, the ceramic manufacturers in Morbi claim their products are competing with China. But the very machines used to manufacture ceramic products are imported from China,” Shah, who has travelled extensively in China and the US, added.
The Ease of Doing Business “should not remain on paper”, he said. “One would need eight approvals to buy a gun in Delhi and 47 licences to open a restaurant in the national capital. In China, only one application is needed,” he said.
He added that Digital India was helping to speed up the clearances, but “more is needed to be done”.
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