Securities and Exchange Board of India chairman U K Sinha on Friday joined the growing chorus urging the government to get a move on its stalled reforms agenda before it is too late.
Sinha, known for pushing stock market reforms, was referring particularly to the pensions bill, which was to be cleared by the cabinet this week but has again been shelved after opposition from West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, head of the Trinamool Congress, an important constituent of the United Progressive Alliance government at the centre.
''It has been a decade and yet they [pension reforms] have not come through. How long can we defer this?'' he wondered at a function organised by management consultancy firm Skoch in Mumbai on Friday.
He said pension sector reforms, along with similar reforms in other financial sectors such as insurance, could help revive the faltering investor sentiment and economic growth.
He said passing the pension bill was only a start to reforms in the sector. ''In my view, it will serve a purpose, but a limited purpose. The largest pension funds in the country, which are managed under central law, are they being reformed?'' he asked.
As an instance, he pointed out that the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation had about 40 million accounts amounting to about Rs2,00,000 crore. ''Even if a small portion of this money comes into the market, it would be good,'' he said.
Sinha highlighted the need to use the pension funds to bring liquidity into the equity market.
Sinha said there was an overall feeling of dejection and anger among investors due to the economic scenario in the country and it was not possible for India to take shelter under ''global economic problems''.