Indian financial sector still has miles to go: IMF

India's financial sector has made ''remarkable'' progress over the last two decades but still confronts longstanding impediments to developing a stable financial system and its ability to support growth. Moreover it faces new challenges to stability, according to an International Monetary Fund report.

Since economic liberalisation was kick-started in the early 1990s, the system's growth and increasing commercial orientation have been accompanied by steady improvements in the legal, regulatory, and supervisory framework, the IMF noted in a 'Financial system stability assessment update' for India released on Thursday.

"The Indian economy and its financial system weathered the global financial crisis well, due to strong balance sheets and profitability entering the crisis, a robust regulatory framework, and timely actions to counter pressures on liquidity, the supply of credit, and aggregate demand," said the IMF paper.

The update on assessment, carried out in June and October 2011, notes that the system is becoming more complex, with interlinkages across institutions and borders. It suggests the main near-term risks to the financial system are a worsening of bank asset quality and renewed pressures on systemic liquidity.

"However, stress tests did not reveal near-term stability concerns, suggesting the banking system would be resilient to a range of adverse shocks," it said.

On a more negative note, the report added, "The prominent role of the state in the financial sector contributes to a build-up of fiscal contingent liabilities and creates a risk of capital misallocation that may constrain economic growth."