The government has appointed eminent banker Deepak Parekh as the new Chairman of the high-level committee on Financing Infrastructure.
The committee was set up in November 2010 under the chairmanship of Rakesh Mohan, former Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India.
The committee was mandated to review existing policies and suggest necessary changes in the investment framework in the high-priority infrastructure sector. Parekh was appointed chairman of the committee earlier this month after approval from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Parekh, who is the Chairman of housing finance major HDFC Ltd, would function in an honorary capacity with the rank of a minister of state. Parekh is also a part of the sub-committee of the Prime Minister's council on Trade & Industry for promoting Financial Inclusion, besides being a member of the expert group on restructuring of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). Parekh is known for his frank views on various policy issues and has often been drawn in for consultation during crisis situations including in Satyam and UTI cases. While setting up the HLC on Financing Infrastructure, the government had said in November 2010 that it would have a tenure of 18 months. The other members of this committee now include R Gopalan (Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs), D K Mittal (Secretary, Department of Financial Services), insurance regulator IRDA Chairman J Hari Narayan, PFRDA Chairman Yogesh Agarwal, RBI Deputy Governor Subir Gokarn, SBI Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri and LIC Chairman D K Mehrotra. The other members include PFC Chairman Satnam Singh, ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar, IDFC chief Rajiv Lall, as also Uday Kotak, G M Rao, G V Sanjay Reddy, Sonjoy Chatterjee and Madhav Dhar. Gajendra Haldea, Advisor to Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, will be the member-convenor of the committee. The special invitees to the committee include Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal, secretaries in power, road transport and highways, urban development, petroleum and natural gas, telecom and water resources ministries, Sebi Chairman U K Sinha, Finance Ministry's Chief Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu and the chief statistician TCA Anant. Among other things, the committee would make recommendations relating to financing of the projected investment of Rs 40,99,240 crore (over $one trillion) during the 12th Five Year Plan period (2012-17).