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Welcome Remarks by the High Commissioner of India

Welcome Remarks by the High Commissioner of India, Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla during the Talk by Hon’ble Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs of India

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this special event organized by the High Commission of India in association with the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh.

At the very outset, let me say what is an honor and privilege it is to welcome the Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs of India, His Excellency Mr. Arun Jaitley, on his first visit to Bangladesh.

I thank the Hon’ble Minister for graciously agreeing to deliver a talk on the ‘Macroeconomic Initiatives of the Government of India’ today. As the architect of the Government of India’s transformational economic initiatives, we would be greatly privileged to listen to his experiences in steering these initiatives through first hand.

His Excellency Mr. Arun Jaitley (born on December 28, 1952) is currently Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs. He is also the Leader of House, Rajya Sabha in Indian Parliament. He has also earlier held the Defence, Information and Broadcasting, Law, Justice & Company Affairs, and Commerce & Industry portfolios in the Government of India. He is a lawyer and prominent leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In his illustrious career as a lawyer, he was designated as Senior Advocate in 1989 and has made significant contributions in the areas of economic liberalization, and legal reforms.

  1. He is recipient of several distinctions, including doctor honoris causa, for outstanding performance, both in academics and extra-curricular activities. He was selected for the outstanding Parliamentarian Award for the year 2010. He is an avid writer on contemporary legal-political issues and has written extensively in newspapers and periodicals.

 

  1. As the Finance Minister of India, he has been instrumental in implementing such as the Goods and Services Tax and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. Under his leadership, the Finance Ministry has intensified the crackdown on black money, has successfully controlled inflation which was in double digits earlier, liberalized the Foreign Direct Investment policy by abolishing the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, and has moved forward to achieve Government’s objective of fiscal consolidation. He has also overseen a number of procedural reforms in budgeting such as the integration of the Railway Budget with the Union Budget, advancing the date of the Union Budget to February 01 which has allowed for operationalization of new schemes and projects right from the beginning of the financial year, and elimination of the classification of expenditure into ‘plan’ and ‘non-plan’ which will facilitate optimal allocation of resources.

 

I also take this opportunity to welcome the Honourable Finance Minister of Bangladesh, His Excellency Mr. Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, who has been an inspiration and great support for this event. The two Finance Ministers held bilateral consultations on the status of our bilateral economic cooperation earlier this morning.  They witnessed the signing of the Credit Line Agreement for the 3rd Line of Credit of US$ 4.5 billion extended by India to Bangladesh announced on the occasion of the visit of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh to India in April 2017.

 

I would like to welcome Ministers of the Government of Bangladesh; Advisors to the Prime Minister; Governor and Deputy Governors of the Bangladesh Bank; Ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps; representatives of international organizations, think-tanks, civil society and the business community who are present here today.

 

I also extend a warm welcome to members of the Indian delegation, Mr. Subash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Finance; business leaders from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FIICCI); Managing Director of the State Bank of India, Mr. Sriram; Managing Director of the EXIM Bank of India, Mr. David Rasqinha; for today’s event.

 

I also thank the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh, represented here by its Chairman Mr. Zaidi Sattar, for partnering us in hosting this prestigious event. A special word of thanks to the State Bank of India, particularly the Country Head Shri Abhijit Bhattacharya and his officers, for not only partnering us in the task of issuing over a million visas a year but also in putting together some challenging aspects of this morning’s programme.

 

With the deepening of bilateral economic engagements between India and Bangladesh, I am sure that the sharing of Indian experiences of the new initiatives for promoting a cashless economy would go a long way in fostering our economic engagement. These initiatives which have been launched in India are aimed at promoting transparency and promoting ease of doing business and have a direct relevance to Bangladesh as well.

 

We will hear about these initiatives from the Hon’ble Minister who has spearheaded these initiatives himself in a short while.

 

I once again welcome you all to this event. Thank you.

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