IFSCA seeks to give GIFT City a global feel, says chairman Injeti Srinivas

IFSCA Chairman Injeti Srinivas said we are not short of anyone in capability
Making Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City a hub for India-focused alternative investment funds with all facilities available in other financial centres is among the priorities of the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA), its Chairman Injeti Srinivas told Business Standard.

The priorities include setting up an international bullion exchange also.

The GIFT City-based international financial centre, situated near Ahmedabad, is working like foreign territory. However, this smart city is now set to compete with centres such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Dubai.

Srinivas said: “We have a developed financial market and are not short of anyone in capability. However, if we are competing with other countries, we have to ensure that those who relocate to India should get at least what they were getting in other places.”

There are areas in which overseas centres have an edge and there is scope for attracting investors from places such as Hong Kong, which is facing problems with China tightening its grip on the island.

The aircraft leasing business, allowing trading in big commodities such as coal, and more need to be permitted, apart from tax and other incentives.

On the decision of the Singapore Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange to launch SGX Nifty trading on the NSE International Exchange at GIFT City, Srinivas said: “More or less everything has been resolved but for a few issues related to disclosure. We are confident of resolving the outstanding issues very soon. The NSE-IFSC and SGX connect will be a good thing for GIFT IFSC.”

He said talks with the World Gold Council on starting an international bullion exchange in India were in advanced stages.

“India is consuming 50 per cent of the gold in the world, but it does not set its price,” he said. This proposal was announced in the Union Budget 2020-21 by the finance minister. 

As of now gold demand in India is met mostly by imports. The GIFT City-based exchange can help routing the bullion business onshore.

Srinivas was appointed chairman of the unified regulator for the GIFT City financial services special economic zone early this month. The government on Friday notified the appointment of two members of the IFSCA. Two nominees of the Union finance ministry are to be appointed. The names of Pankaj Jain, additional secretary, Department of Financial Services, and Anand Mohan Bajaj, additional secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, have been notified. The nine-member board is likely to be constituted soon, with seven likely to be appointed this week. 

“Now we have a unified regulator that has been empowered under various Acts. You can be bolder in making decisions and getting everyone on board,” Srinivas added.



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