Bhopal: Terming the RBI steps to arrest the rupee's slide as short-term measures, SBI Chairman Pratip Choudhary has said there is need to enhance equity and foreign investment for the country's long term growth.
   
He also called for measures to increase exports.
   
"There is a need for more equity investment in the country and enhancing capabilities for raising exports as at present we import more and export less," Choudhary told reporters at Bhopal last evening while commenting on the measures taken by the Reserve Bank to arrest the slide of the rupee.
   
Choudhary, who earlier addressed SBI officers at its regional headquarters, said, "These are short-term measures while the country needed steps for a long-term growth."
   
The government and the RBI yesterday announced the much- hyped measures to boost foreign inflows, including hiking FII limit in sovereign bonds.
   
Foreign institutional investors' (FIIs) ceiling on investment in government securities (G-Sec) has been raised to USD 20 billion from USD 15 billion.
   
Within this limit, funds handling sovereign wealth, insurance, pension, foreign central banks and multilateral agencies can participate.
   
Moreover, the lock-in period for FII investment up to USD 10 billion into G-Secs has been reduced to three years from five years.
   
On the Indian economy, Choudhary said that only government could comment about it, but emphasised upon the need for raising foreign investments.
   
Referring to the ongoing merger process of associate banks with the SBI, he said it will be done in a gradual manner, one every year and not all of them together.
   
The associate banks slated to be merged with SBI are State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Bikaner and State Bank of Travancore.
   
On the issue of appointments in SBI, he said the process would be completed by Dussehra and added that this year the bank would make 9,500 clerical level appointments and appoint nearly 1,000 probationary officers.

(Agencies)

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