Damodaran panel report to be delayed; now likely by April-end

The government-appointed committee was to submit its final report to the Corporate Affairs Ministry by the end of this month.

New Delhi: The Damodaran panel, set up to suggest ways to improve the country's overall business climate, will take more time to finalise its report and is now expected to be submitted to the government by April-end.

The government-appointed committee was to submit its final report to the Corporate Affairs Ministry by the end of this month.

Headed by former chief of capital market regulator Sebi, M Damodaran, the committee comprises business leaders, PSU chiefs, representatives from regulatory authorities and government officials.

According to an official closely working with the panel, the report is yet to be finalised.

"The report is now expected to be submitted by April 30," the official said.

Reasons for the delay in preparing the report could not be ascertained.

Earlier this month, Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot had said he has asked the panel for "concise, tangible and actionable suggestions to improve business environment in the country".

The committee was established by the Ministry, then headed by Veerappa Moily, in August 2012, amid concerns among industry and investors on perception of policy paralysis and lack of required economic reforms.

During its meetings, the panel has discussed a slew of issues including infrastructure development. The committee, met for the first time on October 11, 2012.

Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra, Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, ITC Chairman Y C Deveshwar, Tata Sons Director Ishaant Hussain and Teri Vice-Chairman R K Pachauri are among those in the panel.

Others include SBI Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri, NTPC chief Arup Roy Choudhury, BHEL chief Director B P Rao, representatives from Sebi, Reserve Bank of India and the Ministries of Corporate Affairs, Finance, Power, Petroleum, Highways, Commerce and Industry and Urban Development.

While announcing the panel in August 2012, the government had emphasised the need for conducting an in-depth study into the entire gamut of regulatory framework and come out with a detailed roadmap for improving business climate in India.

In the World Bank's 'Ease of Doing Business' index, India is ranked 132nd, among a total of 185 countries.

While presenting the Budget for 2013-14, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had said that 'Doing business in India' must be seen as easy, friendly and mutually beneficial.