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November 14, 2017

Banking & Financial Awareness : Weaknesses of Indian Financial System

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Weaknesses of Indian Financial System

Friends, in today's Banking & Financial Awareness lesson series, we shall learn about the weaknesses of Indian Financial System. After the introduction of planning, rapid industrialisation has taken place. It has in turn led to the growth of the corporate sector and the Government sector. In order to meet the growing requirements of the Government and the industries, many innovative financial instruments have been introduced. Besides, there has been a mushroom growth of financial intermediaries to meet the ever-growing financial requirements of different types of customers. Hence, the Indian financial system is more developed and integrated today than what it was 50 years ago. Yet, it suffers from some weaknesses as listed below :
  • Lack of Co-ordination between different Financial Institutions : There are a large number of financial intermediaries. Most of the vital financial institutions are owned by the Government. At the same time, the Government is also the controlling authority of these institutions. In these circumstances, the problem of co-ordination arises. As there is multiplicity of institutions in the Indian financial system, there is a lack of co-ordination in the working of these institutions. 
  • Monopolistic Market Structures : In India, some financial institutions are so large that they have created a monopolistic market structure in the financial system. For instance, a major part of life insurance business is in the hands of LIC. The UTI has more or less monopolised the mutual fund industry. The weakness of this large structure is that it could lead to inefficiency in their working or mismanagement or lack of effort in mobilising savings of the public and so on. Ultimately, it would retard the development of the financial system of the country itself. 
  • Dominance of Development Banks in Industrial Financing : The development banks constitute the backbone of the Indian financial system occupying an important place in the capital market. The industrial financing today in India is largely through the financial institutions created by the Government, both at the national and regional levels. These development banks act as distributive agencies only, since, they derive most of their funds from their sponsors. As such, they fail to mobilise the savings of the public. This would be a serious bottleneck which stands in the way of the growth of an efficient financial system in the country. For industries abroad, institutional finance has been a result of institutionalisation of personal savings through media like banks, LIC, pension and provident funds, unit trusts and so on. But they play a less significant role in the Indian financial system, as far as industrial financing is concerned. However, in recent times attempts are being made to raise funds from the public through the issue of bonds, units, debentures and so on. It will go a long way in forging a link between the normal channels of savings and the distributing mechanism. 
  • Inactive and Erratic Capital Market : The important function of any capital market is to promote economic development through mobilisation of savings and their distribution to productive ventures. As far as industrial finance in India is concerned, corporate customers are able to raise their financial resources through development banks. So, they need not go to the capital market. Moreover, they don't resort to capital market, since it is very erratic and inactive. Investors too prefer investments in physical assets to investments in financial assets. The weakness of the capital market is a serious problem in our financial system. 
  • Imprudent Financial Practice : The dominance of development banks has developed imprudent financial practice among the corporate customers. The development banks provide most of the funds in the form of term loans. So there is a preponderance of debt in the financial structure of corporate enterprises. This predominance of debt capital has made the capital structure of the borrowing concerns uneven and lopsided. To make matters worse, when corporate enterprises face any financial crisis, these financial institutions permit a greater use of debt than is warranted. It is against the traditional concept of a sound capital structure. 
However, in recent times all efforts have been taken to activate the capital market. Integration is also taking place between different financial institutions. For instance, the Unit Linked Insurance Schemes of the UTI are being offered to the public in collaboration with the LIC. Similarly, the refinance and rediscounting facilities provided by the IUBI aim at integration. Thus, the Indian financial system has become a developed one. 

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