State Bank of India is hosting its 3rd SBI Banking and Economics Conclave on 27th-28th September 2016 on the topical theme of “Laying the foundations of India’s Growth”. The conclave seeks to provide a platform for constructive discussion amongst distinguished industrialists, regulators, policymakers, academicians and professionals on topics pertaining to the current banking and economic scenario.
The event will be inaugurated by the Hon’ble Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley followed by the launch of SBI research platform. The platform will provide access to value-added real time data analytics and research reports pertaining to the Indian Economy and Banking.
Mr. Timothy Geithner, former United States Secretary of the Treasury will give a closed door inaugural address. Mr. Geithner was the main architect of President Obama’s push to restructure and reform the financial system, which resulted in the landmark Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Infrastructure is the lifeline of an economy which provides the basic support system for other sectors of the economy. Do you know that the World Bank has recently released a Logistics Performance Index (LPI) 2016 report titled “Connecting to Complete 2016” ranking India 35 amongst 160 countries compared to rank of 54 in LPI 2014? These and many other known unknowns will be discussed in the session on ‘Infrastructure – Now or Never?’ by Hon’ble Ministers of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Shri Nitin J. Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu and Hon’ble Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, Mines and New & Renewable Energy Shri Piyush Goyal.
The 2nd day of the program is structured across 4 panel discussions and two addresses.
As any Banking conclave is incomplete without a talk with Regulator, the keynote address will be delivered by Mr. S. S. Mundra, Dy. Governor, RBI marking the opening of the second day of the conclave.
Eminent CEOs from Banking and Industry will discuss on the topic ‘Demographic Dividend: Opportunity or Myth?’ While many Asian countries are aging (Japan most notably), by 2020 India is forecasted to be the youngest country in the world with a median age of 29. This ‘youth bulge’ will reach its peak in the year 2035. China is forecasted to have a median age of 37 by then. Do you also know that India will have 100 crore employable people by 2050, compared to US 27 crore? Are you aware that labour-force participation rate for working-age women in India is still 28.6%, while for Bangladesh it is 60%? All these known unknowns will be discussed in greater detail in this panel.
The importance of Agriculture sector in India cannot be overemphasized as it constitutes 15% of the economy. The capital formation in agriculture sector has stagnated over years and now constitutes 8.5% of the total capital formation. India uses 2 to 4 times more water to produce a unit of major food crop than do China and Brazil. Small land holdings dominate the agricultural landscape with 80% farmers in India having less than two hectare farm size but contributing more than 50% of total agricultural output. Of the 572 districts, 115 districts have been judged highly vulnerable to climate change in India. The rural population which is mostly dependent on agriculture scores less on human development index such as life expectancy, education and per capita income. The panel discussion on ‘Rural Productivity: Raising the Human Development Index’ will discuss all these issues. In addition to the panel discussion there will be a special address by Dr Menachem Dinar, Agricultural Consultant from Israel on ‘Making the Desert Boom’. This is perhaps the first time that any expert from Israel will talk in this type of forum.
Next is the Digital Panel which will discuss about ‘Digital Disruptions and Transformations in Banking’. The Government launched Digital India campaign in mid-2015 with the aim of making the country digitally empowered in the field of technology. Digital technology has already transformed various sectors and banking has also not remained untouched. Digital transformation is one of the top trends in the retail banking industry. With PSD2, and API-ization of core banking services, will technology companies “wrap” the entire financial services and banking is going to be completely commoditized? How do banks overcome the classical “Innovators Dilemma”? Is there going to be a big consolidation in the banking industry? All these questions will form the discussion for this Digital Panel.
Last is the Economist Panel which will try to understand the relevance of different paradigms of macro-policies for developing countries. One of the explanations for the current global slowdown is the secular stagnation hypothesis which was first put forward by the economist Alvin Hansen in the 1930s and recently emphasized by Lawrence Summers. Macro-economic policies of both developed and developing countries are concentrating more on achieving short-term economic stability by keeping inflation low. But are we now side-lining other social development goals of low poverty and inequality, improvement in health and education? There is also now a growing realization that costs of capital account liberalization far outweigh its benefits and a secular focus on fiscal consolidation can come at the cost of wider disparities of income. All these issues will be discussed in greater detail in the Economist Panel.