Inviting foreign capital in sectors like roads, railways and energy, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thrusday met sovereign wealth funds from Singapore and the UAE and pitched a stable policy regime and resilience of Indian economy amid a global slowdown.
Opening the two-day India Investment Summit 2016 in New Delhi, the minister highlighted opportunities the country presents to investors and sought investment in sectors like road, highways, oil&gas, urban infrastructure and railways.
He also held closed-door discussions with several potential investors including European investment banks and sovereign funds of countries like Singapore and the UAE.
“One of the greatest challenges before India was to re-establish the credibility of Indian markets and in order to establish the credibility of Indian economy it was important that we not only reform but continue reform only in one direction,” he said in his inaugural address at the summit.
Also, decision making has been expedited and conditions that made investment process difficult, sliced away, he said.
India during the last 19 months of the BJP government has “opened gates for investment,” he said.
The government, he said, has ensured that “decision making becomes faster, policy changes and improvements including structural reforms, which are to take place, the pace of those reforms is consistent and direction is one way itself. And therefore in last 19 months we have opened gates of India for investment.”
“We have eased out processes. And several conditionalities which made investment process more difficult, those conditionalities have also been sliced away,” he said. “We have been actively working on ease of doing business.”
Jaitley also hoped that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill as well as a the bankruptcy law are passed in the Budget session of Parliament.
“We worked full time to draft a very effective bankruptcy and insolvency law which was introduced in Parliament in the last session. A joint committee is working overtime almost on day-to-day basis endeavouring to produce a report by the first week of March, which will enable us for approval and passage in the coming session,” he said.
Showcasing investment opportunities India offers, Jaitley said with one-sixth of the world population and largest the largest middle class, there are huge opportunities.
“When people start noticing an economy, when people start investing in an economy, and that happens when the credibility of that economy is established.
“Credibility is established by stability of policies, by consistent action in allowing it to grow and I think in the midst of this otherwise global slowdown, it is a great opportunity that India has which we are fully trying to realise,” he added.