In Mumbai, Jaitley closeted with financial regulators after visiting Navy command

Finance minister Arun Jaitley has arrived in Mumbai, the financial capital of India, and will hold talks with financial sector regulators, chiefly Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan and Securities & Exchange Board of India chief U B Sinha, through Saturday.

Jaitley currently straddles both North Block and South Block; he also holds the defence portfolio though he has said this is a temporary charge till a full defence minister is appointed. He began his schedule with a visit to aircraft carrier INS Viraat, where he is expected to review the operational preparedness of the Western Naval Command, which witnessed two fatal submarine accidents in the last one year.

In the afternoon, the minister will chair the 11th meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) at the RBI's Mint Road office.

Apart from the chiefs of India's central bank and financial market regulator, the fiscal meeting will also be attended by other regulators – Insurance Regulatory & Development Board of India (IRDA) chairman T S Vijayan, Forward Markets Commission (FMC) head Ramesh Abhishek, and Provident Fund chief Anup Wadhawan, among others.

The Indian financial situation, in connection with developments in financial markets abroad, and financial sector reforms are on the agenda – particularly with the state-owned banks reeling under bad loans and depleting core capital.

An RBI panel led by P J Nayak recently suggested that government should bring down its holding in public sector banks to below 51 per cent and encourage the merger of small banks into larger ones.

Jaitley would also interact with institutional and overseas investors in the evening. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have been pumping large amounts of money into the Indian financial markets since the run-up to the polls, expecting a more decisive and business-friendly environment under the Modi-led government National Democratic Alliance government.