Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said that there is no reason as to why we must lose heart and thereby confidence (in the economy of the country). He said that India's problems can be solved by us working together with different partners.
"I am optimist… because of the experience I had over the years," he said referring to his first stint as finance minister in the early 1980s when he reduced the inflation from 17 per cent to 2.5 per cent.
He also said that hard decisions cannot be delayed as the times are difficult. "We are passing through a difficult time... Nation as a whole... have to be tough... we cannot delay the process of taking hard decisions." Mukherjee was speaking as chief guest at the third edition of the awards that celebrates the best chief financial officers of the country, the Business Today-Yes Bank Best CFO Awards.
"I know when I say this thing; it is easier said than done. In the process of decision making, you ought to consider so many issues, so many constraints at a time. I know that entire international environment is not conducive to the process of recovery," Mukherjee added.
The ongoing sovereign debt crisis and slowdown in some European countries has also hurt India's exports. He added that India has been diversifying its major export markets over the last few years. He also denied that there is any policy paralysis. He said that it is on the basis of broad based consensus and all the stakeholders need to be respected.
Minister for corporate affairs Veerappa Moily, who was the guest of honour of the night, said that the two decades of economic reforms have yielded a miracle, though he accepted that more needs to be done. "It is now time for governance to supplement it… Governance perhaps still needs transformation."
Moily added that if not for the growth witnessed in the big poor states, we wouldn't have been able to achieve the 8 per cent growth rate. He asked the industrialists to invest more in the industrially barren 300 districts of the country to achieve the full potential of the country. India Today Group's Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Aroon Purie and Yes Bank Founder, Managing Director and CEO Rana Kapoor were also present. Kapoor thanked the finance minister for blessing the awards ceremony for the third consecutive time.
Mukherjee said that the awards are a way of society in paying back for the silent contribution of the CFOs. Moily said, "The CFO is increasingly becoming the chief flag bearer of corporate transparency, governance, corporate social responsibility and also protecting shareholders money." He also said that the new Companies Bill will usher in new policy regime in these areas. Purie said that CFOs are supposed to steer companies with a steady hand when the waters are rough and India's CFOs have been doing this job exceedingly well. Kapoor said that CFOs act as the checks and balances of a CEO.
Mukherjee and Moily distributed the awards for the year 2012 at the glitzy ceremony. Business Today Editor Chaitanya Kalbag briefed the audience of the methodology of selecting the winners. There were 14 categories in total including the overall CFO for the year - C. Ramakrishnan, the CFO of Tata Motors. The winners were determined a panel of distinguished jury from various fields. India Today Group CEO Ashish Bagga delivered the vote of thanks.