The government on Sunday called on US companies to “make, innovate and invest” in India and claimed that “soon” the country will witness a surge in FDI inflows in the manufacturing sector. Speaking at the India-US dialogue here, organised by the Observer Research Foundation and Network 18, minister of state for finance Jayant Sinha said that there are several areas of collaboration between the two countries and industry should try to capitalise on the opportunities available.
“If you look at areas of collaboration… with ‘Make in India’… in manufacturing, we are trying to accelerate manufacturing in India. There are many companies which are already working (on this direction). Secondly, innovate in India. We can innovate in India for India… This is an important aspect of overall Make in India. Third, we say invest in India…there are opportunities for partnerships and significant returns to be had in India,” Sinha said.
He added that India’s manufacturing campaign has generated positive interest among the foreign investors. “If you speak of money, many hedge funds and private equity, they like what they see in India, there is a tidal wave of that money. This is the liquid money. Then you have more permanent form of money, the FDI… it is coming from American companies… Discussions that I am having with American business people, I can tell you those business plans, those investments are being worked out and soon we will see surge of FDI coming to India as well,” he said adding in the last year $40 billion was pumped into India both in equity and debt. The comments were made at a time when US President Barack Obama’s three-day visit to India got underway.
“A lot of that came from the US. There are significant returns as India grows and develops and as we build trillion dollar infrastructure,” he said. However, the global interest in India notwithstanding, the government’s stand on the FDI policy in the retail sector remains the same. Sinha said that his party does not support FDI in the retail sector and “we have been absolutely clear and transparent in our approach on the policy.” He said that the government wants to “create space” and take “sufficient time for adjustments so that retailers can adjust”.
On the declining crude oil prices, he said that the development provides “excellent beneficial environment” to the country and will help in reining in current account deficit, which increased to 2.1 per cent of GDP in Q2 FY15.