Overall vision to build a self-reliant India, says Sitharaman
New Delhi, June 25, 2021
The Government was going ahead with an overall vision to build a self-reliant modern India driven by the 5 Is--Intent, Inclusion, Investment, Infrastructure and Innovation, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday.
Addressing the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) Board of Directors Investment Roundtable, the Minister said macro-economic stability, infrastructure-led economic growth opportunities, financial sector reforms and positioning as a strong player in global supply chains were just some of the ways India continues to rise as a global economic powerhouse.
Committed to long term relationship with the US investors, the Government proposed to hold meetings with them twice a year, she added.
The Global Investors Roundtable, held through video conferencing, saw participation from some of the largest foreign investors, including Mastercard, MetLife, Prudential, Air Products, Dell, SoftBank and Warburg Pincus.
The event provided investors with an opportunity to engage with the Finance Minister and senior officials of the Government to discuss potential investment opportunities and deliberate on the role of ongoing policy reforms that will enable greater Ease of Doing Business in India.
Sitharaman said the country was witnessing a significant drop in new COVID-19 infections and a decline of the second wave. The Government undertook strong relief measures and reforms during the pandemic times, she said.
"There was continued macro-economic stability and resilience in economic recovery in the recent months. With a vision to make India self-reliant (Aatma Nirbhar Bharat), several steps have been taken for Infrastructure-led economic growth. Multi-sectoral opportunities for investors were being created for investors and there was a strong track record of reform implementation in the last six years," she added.
Sitharaman said the country offered opportunities in Climate, ESG and Sustainability focused investments. The continuous reforms make India a great place to do business. COVID and its aftermath have shown the Indian economy’s resilience, she said.
The highest-ever GST collections show the bright spot, namely, formalisation of economy and tax compliance. Innovation and R&D have great potential. New opportunities were emerging for foreign investors with recent FDI reforms, privatisation policy and PLI scheme, she pointed out.
Sitharaman said the fiscal situation was under control and expected to improve further. As many as 15 new unicorns in the first five months of 2021 itself reflect a growing startup ecosystem to be among the best in the world.
Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth highlighted the broad themes of Budget 2021 and how the changes made were far-reaching.
Ajay Banga, CEO, MasterCard, said, “When the United States and India, along with the best of the private sector, work together with a level playing field and fair competition to drive innovation and progress in India and for India, a great deal can be accomplished. “
George Oliver, Chairman and CEO, Johnson Control, said, “We are extremely excited about the growth opportunity in India and expand further in India, one of the fastest emerging global economies. India has made significant progress and is expected to double its energy demand by 2040 and we are keen to support this growth story.”
Mark Widmar, CEO, First Solar, said, “Applaud the effort done already towards the investment opportunities in India, especially with the combination of Industrial policy and the trade barriers that have enabled this initiative. Also, encouraged to see the vaccination and economic progress.”
The US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) is a non-profit organization, with the primary objective of strengthening the India-US bilateral and strategic partnership through policy advocacy in the fields of economic growth, entrepreneurship, employment-creation, and innovation.