The government has been able to change the public opinion in favour of FDI into sensitive areas like defence manufacturing which were earlier considered sacrosanct, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said. Jaitley, who is in the US to attend the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, said this during an investors roundtable New York jointly organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the US-India Business Council. “We have been able to invest FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in almost every sector of the economy,” Jaitley said as he highlighted investment opportunities in India. “Areas that were earlier considered sacrosanct, like defence manufacturing, we have been able to convince public opinion that it is better to invite foreign expertise to set up manufacturing in India,” he said.
Jaitley, who was the defence minister till recently, said suddenly a lot of joint ventures are coming up for investment in the defence sector. He also said that the body which Foreign Investment Promotion Board which sanctioned FDI proposals had outlived its purpose because of liberalisation in FDI rules. “Ninety-five per cent of FDI anyway comes in through the automatic route…I had spoken about doing away with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board,” he said.