Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today told Silicon Valley corporate leaders and investors that for growth to gain traction increase in private sector investments was imperative, even as he cautioned that ease of doing business would need constant monitoring and improvement.
At a round table organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with US-India Business Council, Jaitley highlighted the improved economic and investment conditions in India.
Some of the companies around the table included Microsoft, Applied Materials, Amazon, Oracle, Hewitt Packard, Visa, Franklin Templeton, Google, Cisco, First Solar, Aemetis, Ebay, Qualcomm, Blackberry, San Disk among others.
Alluding to the much stronger economic fundamentals, Jaitley mentioned that the monsoon prediction is improving and with it the prospects of the agriculture sector doing better, which would put the economic growth prospects on an even better footing.
The manufacturing sector had started to do much better after a protracted period of slowdown, he said.
Commenting on demand revival, Jaitley mentioned that micro attention was being paid to stalled projects and a pick up in that area would be helping demand for industrial products.
A benign inflation situation could further allow softening of interest rates, he said.
Touching on some of the challenges, Jaitley mentioned that the ease of doing business would need constant monitoring and improvement and eventually for growth to gain traction it was imperative that private sector investments picked up.
Dr Naushad Forbes, president-designate, CII emphasised “India and the US are natural partners owing to common principles of democracy and federalism. India is a noisy and vibrant democracy that has an innovative private sector as its growth engine. India today presents a strong long term growth story while aiming for inclusive and sustainable growth.”
Hailing India as the shining star within the developing economies, Mukesh Aghi, President of USIBC, stressed on the positivity surrounding the new Indian government’s economic policy that has an underlying social developmental agenda.
Rajiv Mehrishi, Finance Secretary, while answering specific questions from US companies stressed that the government is working to create an organised way to deal with change not just in policy regime but administration as well.
Government efforts are “work in progress” though there is already significant progress on contentious issues like implementing a direct tax regime and GST regime, smoothening taxation disputes, easing land acquisition and labour regulations and so forth, Mehrishi said.
All these incremental but important reforms would cumulatively help cultivate an environment for growth and development, he said.