Jait­ley woos sov­er­eign funds to in­vest in in­fra­struc­ture

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

Invit­ing for­eign cap­i­tal in sec­tors like roads, rail­ways and en­ergy, In­dian Fi­nance Min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley to­day 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 here, 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." Mr. 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, Mr. 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.

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