Liberalisation of the Financial System, Indian Financial System B Com Notes | EduRev

Indian Financial System

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B Com : Liberalisation of the Financial System, Indian Financial System B Com Notes | EduRev

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Liberalisation Of The Financial System

A radical restructuring of the economic system consisting of industrial deregulation, liberalisation of policies relating to foreign direct investment, public enterprise reforms, reforms of taxation system, trade liberalisation and financial sector reforms have been initiated in 1992- 93. Financial sector reforms in the area of commercial banking, capital markets and non-banking finance companies have also been undertaken. The focus of reforms in the financial markets has been on removing the structural weaknesses and developing the markets on sound lines. The money and foreign exchange market reforms have attempted to broaden and deepen them. Reforms in the government securities market sought to smoothen the maturity structure of debt, raising of debt at close-to-market rates and improving the liquidity of government securities by developing an active secondary market. In the capital market the focus of reforms has been on strengthening the disclosure standards, developing the market infrastructure and strengthening the risk management systems at stock exchanges to protect the integrity and safety of the market.

Elements of the structural reforms in various market segments are introduction of free pricing of financial assets such as interest rate on government securities, pricing of capital issues and exchange rate, the enlargement of the number of participants and introduction of new instruments. Improving financial soundness and credibility of banks is a part of banking reforms under. Taken by the RBI, a regulatory and supervisory agency over commercial banks under the Banking Companies Regulation Act 1949. The improvement of financial health of banks is sought to be achieved by capital adequacy norms in relation to the risks to which banks are exposed, prudential norms for income recognition and provision of bad debts. The removal of external constraints in norms of pre-emption of funds, benefits and prudential regulation and recapitalisation and writing down of capital base are reflected in the relatively clean and healthy balance sheets of banks. The reform process has, however, accentuated the inherent weaknesses of public sector dominated banking systems. There is a need to further improve financial soundness and to measure up to the increasing competition that a fast liberalising and globalising economy would bring to the Indian banking system.

In the area of capital market, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) was set up in 1992 to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote development and regulation of the securities market. SEBI has issued guidelines for primary markets, stipulating access to capital market to improve the quality of public issues, allotment of shares, private placement, book building, takeover of companies and venture capital. In the area of secondary markets, measures to control volatility and transparency in dealings by modifying the badla system, laying down insider regulations to protect integrity of markets, uniform settlement, introduction of screen-based online trading, dematerialising shares by setting up depositories and trading in derivative securities (stock index futures). There is a sea change in the institutional and regulatory environment in the capital market area.

In regard to Non-Bank Finance Companies (NBFCs), the Reserve Bank of India has issued several measures aimed at encouraging disciplined NBFCs which run on sound business principles. The measures seek to protect the interests of depositors and provide more effective supervision, particularly over those which accept public deposits. The regulations stipulate an upper limit for public deposits which NBFCs can accept. This limit is linked to credit rating by an approved rating agency. An upper limit is also placed on the rate of interest on deposits in order to restrain NBFCs from offering incentives and mobilising excessive deposits which they'" may not be able to service. The heterogeneous nature, number, size, functions (deployment of funds) and level of managerial competence of the NBFCs affect their effective regulation.

Since the liberalisation of the economy in 1992-93 and the initiation of reform measures, the financial system is getting market-oriented. Market efficiency would be reflected in the wide dissemination of information, reduction of transaction costs and allocation of capital to the most productive users. Further, freeing the financial system from government interference has been an important element of economic reforms. The economic reforms also aim at improved financial viability and institutional strengthening. To improve the effective implementation 0{the monetary policy, linkages among money and foreign exchange markets have been forged.

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