Day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured the India Inc to make India an investor-friendly nation, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday decided to form an empowered group of secretaries chaired by cabinet secretary to encourage both foreign and domestic investments into India.

“Industries are thinking to diversify their investments in different localities. To ensure more investments in India, an empowered group of secretaries has been formed. Simultaneously, in every ministry, there will be project development cells that will handhold projects concerning their ministries and facilitate land acquisition,” information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar said briefing reporters.

“This will make India a more investor friendly destination. It will give fillip to domestic industries. It will bring synergies between ministries and departments, among centre and state governments in policy matters. It will give boost to the economy and open up immense direct and indirect employment opportunities,” Javadekar added.

The coronavirus outbreak which started from China along with the ongoing US-China trade war has forced many multinational companies to rethink their investment strategy. India is now seeking to take advantage of the diversifying global and regional supply chains by attracting more companies to manufacture in India for the domestic as well as global consumers.

Addressing the annual session of Confederation of Indian Industry on Tuesday, prime minister Modi said if the industry takes two steps forward, government will take four. “As the prime minister, I assure you that I am standing by you,” he added.

The Prime Minister urged the industry to take advantage of the trust India has developed in the rest of the world. “The world is looking for a trusted and reliable partner. We have the potential, strength and ability. Countries are also thinking whether old policies will work. New churning is happening. Expectation has grown from India. Confidence on India has grown. The Indian industry should take advantage of it,” he added.

Modi pledged to accelerate structural reforms to boost growth prospects as the Indian economy heads into a recession that some forecasts say will be the deepest since Independence.

Though the government has substantially eased the over two-month-long nationwide lockdown, flight of migrant workers, restrictions on inter-state movements and downbeat consumer sentiment are expected to drag down the country’s economy. The government has extended mobility restrictions in containment zones till end June while allowing economic activity to return to near-normal in the rest of the country in a phased manner. Most economists expect GDP to contract at least by 5% in FY21.

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