Real estate, NBFCs need a boost, says Keki Mistry

Keki Mistry

HDFC vice chairman and CEO Keki Mistry believes non-banking finance companies need liquidity at the moment and the kind of confidence that should be in the system is not available right now. In an interview with Abhishek Satya Vratam, Mistry says the government needs to focus on job creation, economic growth and revival of real estate and NBFC sectors.

What is the meaning of full majority government for the economy and what is your outlook on this development?

I think the new government is a phenomenal thing for the country. I think for the next three-four months, the government will focus on job creation, economic growth, revival of the real estate sector and NBFCs, on the rural economy, microfinance lending, and more.

The government implemented several reforms in its first five-year term. What are your expectations for the next five years?

I think several reforms have taken place. In fact, the main reforms have been done; the government may bring sector-specific reforms. I think the most important thing at this point is to do more for job creation, which comes through a boost to the industry and certain sectors of the economy like construction, for example, which is a huge employment generator. It creates jobs for carpenters, plumbers and engineers. A boost to construction will boost several other sectors of the economy, whether it is cement, steel or power, among others. Job creation is the number one factor. The second is that the core sector gets a boost by giving a boost to the housing sector. So, housing construction should be boosted. The government should also address the NBFC crisis related to unavailability of liquidity at the earliest.

Any suggestions for addressing the problems being faced by the NBFCs?

I think the nervousness of the banks in lending to NBFCs should go away. This can be attained when people from the government and representatives from banks and NBFCs all sit together and try to find a solution for the problem. Basically, the fear factor of lending should go away and that can be done through some persuasion and strong discussions, which the government will need to have with the main banks.

Do you think the new government will increase its focus on Housing for All scheme?

I think that the government should focus on the housing sector mainly because of the factors that I mentioned earlier – because housing and construction create jobs. Creation of jobs provides income to people and when they have an income they go and spend money, which gives a boost to consumption. Thus, a boost to the housing sector will also give a boost to consumption.

What is the importance of regulations for the NBFC sector?

I think NBFCs need funds and liquidity at this moment. Basically, it is a crisis of confidence as the kind of confidence that should be in the system is not available right now. You must have in mind that post IL&FS default, every single commercial paper, bond, debenture, interest payment has been met by every single NBFC and no one has defaulted in the system till date. So the panic and nervousness that exist in the market should go away. Secondly, real estate and NBFC are two sectors which will need a boost.