banks may have to wait for some more time to set up branches
in the US, says US ambassador David Mulford. In an exclusive
interview with Sanjay Pugalia, editor, CNBC-Awaaz, Mulford
said that for Indian banks to operate in the US, they
would have to meet certain regulatory requirements on
the compliance mechanisms are put in place Indian banks
would have to delay the launch of their US operations.
announcement gains significance as finance minister P
Chidambaram has already raised concerns over the stringent
regulations put in place by the US administration for
allowing Indian banks to expand overseas branch network
expansion in the US.
to a question in the Rajya Sabha in the last monsoon session
of Parliament on whether India would follow the same principles
to allow US banks to open branches in India, Chidambaram
had replied, "Reciprocity will be a consideration
in dealing with this matter. The US Federal Reserve follows
a rather restrictive policy in granting foreign banks
permission for opening branches... We have taken up the
matter with the US at different forums."
though was very upbeat about the expansion of foreign
retailers in the Indian retail sector and said this would
have very positive impact on the economy. "It is
not just Wal-Mart, it is the retail development itself,"
that will create backward and forward linkages leading
to overall growth, Mulford said. He also expected that
Wal-Mart would get a presence in India through the Bharati-Wal-Mart
deal. He, however, refused to comment on whether the deal
would get regulatory approval or not.
the crucial nuclear deal between India and the US, the
US ambassador said he expected that the entire process
including presidential assent, and the formal agreement
between the two countries and negotiations with IAEA should
be over by May. He, however, clarified that India's concern
on backdoor inspection of its nuclear installations are
needs massive investment in the infrastructure sector,
but foreign investment is hard to come by in this area.
Mulford said the lack of interest was probably due to
confusion among investors. "There are both federal
and state responsibilities in the infrastructure sector.
In fact, many of the responsibilities fall on the states.
So many American companies find it difficult to deal with
diversity on infrastructure," Mulford statted.
also talked at length on tackling terrorism, simplifying
visa procedure, the need for increasing the number of
H1B visa for
Indian professionals and increasing cooperation in the
field of education and agriculture. While 80,000 Indian
students are currently studying in the US, a mere 1,700
American students come to India.