Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Thursday told by the world’s most powerful financial sector leaders that he was doing fine, although a few issues still needed to be sorted.
And they pointed to continuing concerns about infrastructure, taxation, too much bureaucracy, bankruptcy laws, pending deregulation. But no new issues, Indian officials insisted.
J P Morgan’s James Dimon concurred. “It was a great meeting, there was constructive dialogue in the spirit of collaborating, in the spirit of of lifting India,” he said after the meeting.
Any concerns, pending market reforms issues?
“The government has already undertaken a massive amount of reform. The key message from all businesses (to the prime minister) was continue doing what you are dong.”
“He is strong and he is actually going to lift all of India,” said Dimon, who is said to have taken the lead at the meeting. JP Morgan employs around 20,000 people in India.
Others who attended the roundtable were KKR’s Henry Kravis, Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman, Warburg Pincus’s Charles Kaye, General Atlantic’s Bill Ford, AIG’s Peter Hancock, Tiger Global’s Chase Coleman and NY State Common Retirement’s Vicki Fuller.
The roundtable was the Modi’s first meeting on this, his second, visit to the US starting Wednesday, where he was to pitch India to Wall Street leaders for investments.
And from all available accounts — officials and business leaders who attended — the meeting went off extremely well. The mood, said an Indian official, was very positive and “upbeat”, and that the prime minister got a lot of positive feedback, a lot of it very complimentary.
About “continuing concerns” raised by the CEOs, MEA spokesman Vikas Swaroop, who briefed reporters about the meeting, said the prime minister asked for a note.
And he was very candid in his responses.
To suggestions made on “improving access and efficiency”, Blackstone’s Schwarzman said, the “prime minister was very open to them”.
He added India can do a lot more on financial sector reforms: “ability to take companies public, the ability to take companies private, the ability to have more capital going into rural area,” for instance.