Led by global PE fund KKR’s India head Sanjay Nayar, the meeting was also attended by Carlyle’s India head Devinjit Singh, Multiples PE’s Renuka Ramnath, Sandeep Singhal of Nexus and Madhav Dhar of GTI Capital.
“Setting up a higher growth agenda and finding ways for private equity to play a role in it was discussed at the meeting. It was a very positive move from the government as it did not involve the usual pre-budget tax sops discussions,” said an executive present at the meeting.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley chaired the meeting that was attended by financial services secretary Hasmukh Adhia, finance secretary Ashok Lavasa and Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das. The meeting that was held on Friday last week was also attended by Hemal Mehta, partner, Deloitte Haskins & Sells.
“We looked at all the employment generating industries, how government can facilitate growth, what should be the approach of the government towards making a trade-off between fiscal deficit and growth. We talked about affordable housing, expenditure on infrastructure to drive growth, and what the government should do to attract foreign capital,” another person present at the meeting said.
For 2016, private equity investors bet $15.2 billion across 620 deals making it the second biggest year for such investments in India by both value and volume, after 2015 which had witnessed $17.3 billion being invested across 775 transactions and 683 companies, data from Venture Intelligence shows.
The group has been asked to submit their thoughts and recommendations by the end of this week. “We will send our thoughts on the possible growth strategies to the government soon,” said another person.
One of the most important things that the finance minister discussed with the PE fund managers is the issue of mounting stressed assets in the country.
“We spoke about the models that exist globally for managing stressed assets and suggested that banks should bundle the stressed assets and sell them to specialized investors so that their books are free for future lending,” a Mumbai-based fund manager said. “We shared our experiences on stressed assets and how banks have to be realistic about the valuations and how these assets can be sold to recover money.”
Jaitley was particularly interested in identifying the sectors that can be developed to generate employment in the country, said another person present at the meeting. Ahead of the Union Budget on February 1, 2017, the ministry wants to reach out to all stakeholders and investors to pick their brains on the India growth story.
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