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Monday, April 02, 2007

Mumbai as an International Financial Centre (MIFC)

The report of the High Powered Expert Committee (HPEC) on Mumbai as an International Financial Centre (MIFC) has been released. The report itself has been published by Sage Publications. The website of the Ministry of Finance has:
  • A web page with the full report and a collection of materials on the subject.
  • Video files from a CII conference on the subject. In particular, the talks by P. Chidambaram, Vijay Kelkar and Brooks Entwistle are well worth watching. Warning: They are .wmv files and don't work on all machines. And, for the wmv-challenged or bandwidth-constrained, MOF has a PDF file with a transcript of FM's talk.
Percy Mistry, who was the Chairman of the committee for most of its life, has written an article: The Mumbai-IFC report: of Discourse, Garlands and Brickbats!. A fascinating stream of commentary has started coming out from 4 April onwards:
And here are some recent developments which link up to the picture of MIFC, though they are not directly linked to the book:
Lots of people are asking me: From what store do I get the book? I just got this information from Sage about Bombay and Delhi. In Delhi: Teksons at Noida, Greater Kailash, Part I, South Extension, Part I, Saket. Midlands at Aurobindo Market, South Extension, Part I. Bahrisons at Khan Market. New Book Depot at Connaught Place. Some other bookshops in Khan Market seem to have it too. In Bombay: Crossword (all locations), Strand Bookstore, Horizon at Vile Parle (W), Granth Book Shop at Juhu and Goregaon (W), Landmark in Andheri (W). In Washington, D.C.. On Amazon.
Slideshows about MIFC: by Percy Mistry, K. P. Krishnan, Josh Felman, me.
If you would like to link to this page, is a handy shortform for the full URL -


  1. Ajay: Well done. This is a testimonial to your considerable capabilities.

  2. Was he Percy Mistry himself? ;-)
    Several of your papers in the list.

  3. MOF needs to study this and set up an implementation committee to come out with a timeline for implementing this report. I just hope that this report does not gather dust.

  4. Thanks very much for compiling the links. Very useful.

    My limited interest is more with on the infrastructure side than the financial reforms. It will be interesting to see how, if at all, both happen together.

    As the BS editorial you linked to points out "The more contentious issues will come when Mumbai's infrastructure has to be improved."

  5. I have been living in Mumbai for 6 years now and have seen it going from bad to worse. Except for few sq Km of area around Marine drie, rest of Mumbai has become almost unlivable. In Navi Mumbai , we face powercuts of 4 hrs daily. I wonder if anything ever be done about Mumbai's infrastructre without which it will cease to be a livable city, forget about a financial centre.

    Maharshtra a fialed state!

  6. ajay - just read the exec summary - absolutely brilliant and inspirational - it was like reading a novel - and I don't read anything but garcia marquez - look out - get on your roller skates - or in the vernacular - aa jaon maidan mein!

  7. Ashu, Yes, it is indeed The Percy Mistry.

    Jamal, thanks for the kind words about the executive summary. I want to hear from you after you've read the full book! :-)

    Mumbai becoming unlivable: Could it be that some other city in India could become a financial centre?

  8. Ashu, Yes it is indeed The Jamal Mecklai.

  9. discovered your blog while searching for the IFC, Mumbai report.

    This is a great blog. Congrats.
    I thought there were no real info blogs in India. I'm happy I'm proved wrong.

  10. The exec summary is very informative and useful.

    I wanted to ask about the concrete plans for creating courses for trained manpower for an IFC. Also can't the SEZ in Navi Mumbai be used to house this IFC?

  11. This sounds good. Any renderings of the new building's or the height of them.

  12. I am smiling. I am happy.

    The moment I heard this thought of FMs wish / vision / dream to make mumbai as an international financial center I was excited as well as happy.

    I felt as if someone has given a DREAM as if someone has repeated " I have a dream".

    Now, when there is a dream there will be castles in air and those castles will have to be converted to real ones.

    I don't know if this is possible or not but what I know is that this has to be done.

    My wishes. Lets do it together.


  13. Hi Ajay,

    I have been following your work for over 4 years now; right from the need for interest rate derivaties in the indian market to the extensive work and writings you've done till date, and the least i could say is its very impressive.

    On the MIFC side, it is great to hear so many arguments both on the positive and negative note as to why we need an IFC and more importantly, is it achievable.

    By the way, Shankar Acharya wrote an interesting piece on BS which highlighted the "lacune" in Mr. Mistry's report and i thought it was fun to read :-)

    Keep up the good work (Y)

  14. Definitely I would love Mumbai becoming an International Financial Center, but as the situation stands now, I think the first and most important quality for a plce to be any international center is an environment which allows foreigners to come and work there.
    I have seen in London and New york (and heard in Tokyo, Hong Kong anf Sinagapore) most of the professionals in the industry are foreign born.
    Can Mumbai accept them all? including Chinese, Korean, Lebanese, Latin Americans, Australians apart from the Americans and Europeans?
    Or will political Parties keep making a noise about reservations for Sons of the SOil or for backward castes as well.

  15. Ajay sir,
    My name is Viral Joshi and i am a student of Ahmedabad Management Association pursuing a a course of International Trade. I am preparing for my final project on MIFC and your articles are really helping me a lot.
    I would appreciate that if you can spare some of your valuable time and guide me through this project.

    Thank You

  16. Sir, this book is available at our website for online purchase. Kindly add the link
    Mumbai—An International Financial Centre

  17. Hi Ajay, would this MIFC be a district full of high rise commercial buildings?

  18. Not sure if you are the saem ajay from my alma mater- IIT at Powai.

    Anyhow - having being an Expat now for many years in all cities around the world, I have compared/contrasted/debated all these and Mumbai so am leaving a donwright realistic comment. Constantly proppoing Mumbai as an IFC is displaced patriotism. Mumbai is a sad example of how a cultural baggage can destroy the potential of an incredible workforce. It is not just drains (Sau Paulo have these), bad corruption (Shanghai has it), trains (Bangkok quite bad)...but it is that the worst of all cities has been shaken and stired and poured into Lalbag and Marine Drive. Let Mumbai be what it is - a delightful polyglot city we all love.

  19. yes you are right in many aspects.

  20. Distinguished Gentlemen,

    While the draft report of the latest Prof Raghuram Rajan Committee on Financial Sector Reforms (CFSR) available at

    is doing the round through commentary articles in the media;

    I wish to express my gratitude for the learnings made by perusing your original MIFC report.

    Perhaps the latest Latest Global Financial Centre Index Study from London [March 2008] available at

    might serve as a useful addendum reference to your continuing champion cause for Mumbai as International Financial Centre.

    Their report pegs Mumbai at rank # 48 in GFIC 3 study with dropping 10 positions since GFIC, which I am unable to reconcile with reality as Mumbai ranks topmost with 97% in Business Confidence Index (BCI). As such, the report is eclectic and makes a delectable read from global benchmarking point of view for Appendix B and C of MIFC report albeit with a London bais/basis !

    Reference URL:

    Avidly following your awesome ideas for my knowledge upgradation and awaiting implementation as per schedule while praying for early and elaborate execution of our country's MIFC dream plan made your kind selves.

    Since it is impossible to establish contact with any high profile member of HPEC for MIFC, I seek views through public media on renewing relevance of MIFC inspite of and in conjunction with two pending report with chairs viz., Prof. Raghuram Rajan-CFSR and Percy Mistry-MIFC, against backdrop of GFCI 3 study!

    Hope you shall accede to my humble request.

    Best regards
    P Manohar Bhat

  21. Dear All,

    Ongoing Global Financial Centres Index 4 Survey from City of London perceptions shall influence Mumbai rankings; please publicize to maximize participation from Indians and expats who know actual status Mumbai on the way to MIFC...

    For more details, please visit:

    Latest GIFC 3 report is available at:

    We need to evangelise Mumbai as International Financial Centre through all available means including Dr Ajay Shah's MIFC blog referred from

    Best wishes and regards,
    P Manohar Bhat

  22. Dear All,

    I am pleased to post direct email received from George von Furstenberg, noted US economist, J.H. Rudy Professor Emeritus from Indiana University, Bloomington; and Program Director - Economics Division of Social and Economic Sciences, National Science Foundation, USA.

    His profiles are available at:

    He has commented within appended email and cited HPEC report on MIFC in his latest paper presented at Shanghai due for release in Kredit and Kapital - a German journal which has delayed release exposure to non-subscribers.

    P Manohar Bhat

    From: Von Furstenberg, George M. Date: Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 11:46 PM
    Subject: FW: Request for your latest paper
    To: P Manohar Bhat

    Dear Mr. Bhat:

    Attached, as promised, is the revised version of my paper now titled:
    "International Financial Services: Location Preferences and Economies."

    The paper is forthcoming (in English) in Kredit und Kapital, a German journal, and should please be so identified .

    I, in turn, have cited (India's) Ministry of Finance Report ... on Making Mumbai an International Financial Centre, an impressive report; which you kindly had informed me about, in the revised present paper.

    Thank you again and best wishes and regards.

    Dr. George M. von Furstenberg
    Program Director - Economics
    Division of Social and Economic Sciences
    National Science Foundation
    Arlington, VA 22230, USA
    Tel.: (703) 292-8202

    From: Von Furstenberg, George M.
    Sent: Sunday, May 04, 2008 3:46 PM
    To: 'P Manohar Bhat'
    Subject: RE: Request for your latest paper

    Dear Mr. Bhat:

    The paper you requested "Assessing the Competitiveness of International Financial Services in Particular Locations: A Survey of Methods and Perspectives" is going to be revised after its presentation in Shanghai, and the revised version will be ready by August 1. If I do not remember to share it with you then, would you please remind me? Thank you also for having sent your "links".

    Sincere regards,


    Dr. George M. von Furstenberg
    Program Director - Economics
    Division of Social and Economic Sciences
    National Science Foundation
    Arlington, VA 22230, USA
    Tel.: (703) 292-8202

  23. Dear Prof Ajay Shah,

    Further to our telecon a little while back about MIFC report which is an excellent macro policy cum hi-level strategic report; I was wondering on how to keep the momentum towards creation and sustenance of the pitch reiterated by Hon'ble Finance Minister today morning during launch of Currrency Futures at NSE.

    We need immediate creation of human resources starting from footsoldiers to fieldmarshals across the width and depth of the MIFC dream !

    Towards this end and to take matters below and beyond the confines of MIFC report and the backdrop of National Skill Development Mission by Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Dy Chairman, Planning Commission; I earnestly urge a full-scale ignition of minds at skill development and research needs for enablement of MIFC.

    We need to systematically benchmark and vigorously supplement MIFC report from
    Ireland's Skill Study Report:

    The Future Skills and Research Needs of the International Financial Services Industry (December 2007)

    The Future Skills and Research Needs of the International Financial Services Industry outlines Ireland's current and future skills requirements in relation to the international financial services industry. The report also identifies the need to enhance provision of these skills and the importance of improving Ireland's research capacity in the area of financial services.

    Ireland - Future Skills and Research Needs of the International Financial Services Industry (December 2007)

    Many other reports for sectoral skill focus are available at: Skills Ireland Reports

    The aforesaid website serves as a very important reference benchmark for national, market, educational and corporate adoption after adaptation of international standards.

    Thanks and regards,
    P Manohar Bhat
    Mumbai, India

  24. Ridiculous!!! That's all I have to say....exporters in India dont do other than forex forwards (having already burnt their fingers with exotics), the OTC market even in Interest rate derivatives doesn't allow a number of reference rates (even LIBOR in some cases,thanks to the RBI).Our civil judicial system takes years....we have archaic bankruptcy it just ahead of our time we are thinking too much about Mumbai...the only 2 things I'll give for Mumbai for IFC is human capital and high end IT ....

  25. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  26. We want an effective NPA System specifically to handle a wide range of simple to complex tasks
    Also we need an automated data recording and reporting mechanism in order to capture only the most accurate picture of our bank at any given point of time as per RBI's Guidelines .

  27. Is it possible to download any legal regulations concerning Mumbai as IFC? Is there any official document devoted to MIFC except the Report of 2007 ?Can't find. Need this for my research.Thanks.


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