The UPA government on Wednesday indicated further liberalisation of the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy in the coming weeks to attract foreign investments into the country.
“The government will continue its endeavour for liberalising the FDI policy further in the coming weeks to ensure that India retains its leadership position for attracting foreign investments,” Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said in a statement.
Last year, the government has relaxed foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in several sectors such as telecom, defence, PSU oil refineries, commodity bourses, power exchanges and stock exchanges.
In 2013, India was rated as the most favoured investment destination globally, he said, adding “the decisions of the government have resonated with the global community and we have seen results in the last few months”.
The Ministry is now working to relax FDI norms in railways and construction activities.
During April-October this fiscal, India attracted FDI worth $ 12.6 billion, a decline of 15 per cent over the same period last year.
Expressing optimism over the economy in 2014, he said the coming months will see a greater push for development of industrial corridors across the country and work will commence for establishment of the first few cities along the Delhi- Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC).
The $ 90 billion DMIC project is aimed at creating mega industrial infrastructure along the Delhi-Mumbai Rail Freight Corridor, which is under implementation. Japan is providing financial and technical aid for the project, which will cover seven states totalling 1,483 km.
“I expect that with greater foreign investment and technology collaborations, Indian manufacturing will also move up the value chain and acquire greater competitiveness globally,” he added.
On India’s exports, Mr. Sharma said that despite weak demand in traditional markets, shipments have done reasonably well during the first eight months of the current fiscal.
“I am sure that in the remaining period of this financial year, exports will show a strong and dynamic growth,” he said.
In April-November 2013, exports grew by 6.27 per cent to $ 204 billion while imports aggregated at $ 304 billion.
Trade deficit for the period stood at $ 100 billion.
Further, the Minister said the steps taken by the government both on the fiscal and current account front have yielded positive results.