USISPF | COVID-19 proves Indian economy's resilience: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said India is committed to forge a long term relationship with U.S. investors and proposes to meet them twice a year

June 25, 2021 12:34 am | Updated 12:36 am IST - NEW DELHI

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. File

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. File

COVID-19 and its aftermath has proven the Indian economy’s resilience, Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told U.S. investors in a meeting on June 24, adding that India’s fiscal situation is not only under control, but also expected to improve further.

Addressing a global investors’ meet hosted by the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), Ms. Sitharaman said that the government has shown a strong record of ‘reform implementation in the last six years’ and showcased the ‘strong relief and reforms undertaken during the pandemic times’.

“Macro-economic stability, infrastructure-led economic growth opportunities, financial sector reforms and positioning as a strong player in global supply chains are just some of the ways India continues to rise as a global economic powerhouse,” she said, stressing that there was a significant decline in new COVID-19 infections and a decline in the second wave.

At the meeting attended by global investors such as Mastercard, Metlife, Prudential, Dell, Softbank and Warburg Pincus, the broad messaged conveyed by the Finance Minister included the vision to make India ‘self-reliant and modern’ through the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat programme and driven by 5 ‘I’s – Intent, Inclusion, Investment, Infrastructure and Innovation.

The Finance Minister said India is committed to forge a long term relationship with U.S. investors and proposes to meet them twice a year. “The continuous reforms make India a great place to do business and the highest ever GST collections shows the bright spot — more formalisation of economy and tax compliance,” Ms. Sitharaman told investors as per an official statement.

Emphasising India’s ‘continued macro-economic stability and resilience in economic recovery in the recent months’, the Finance Minister said India’s wide-ranging reforms continue to position the country as an attractive destination for foreign investors. There are ‘new opportunities emerging for foreign investors with recent FDI reforms, privatisation policy and PLI (production-linked incentive) scheme’, she pointed out.

“Innovation and R&D got a great potential. New opportunities emerging for foreign investors with recent FDI reforms privatisation policy and PLI scheme,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement, summarising her message at the USISPF meeting.

According to the Ministry, First Solar CEO Mark Widmar applauded ‘the effort done already towards the investment opportunities in India, especially with the combination of industrial policy and the trade barriers that have enabled this initiative’. He was also encouraged to see the vaccination and economic progress, the statement said.

Ms. Sitharaman underlined that India had 15 new unicorns in 2021, reflecting its growing startup ecosystem ‘to be amongst the best in the world’. Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth told investors about the broad themes of the Union Budget and the far-reaching changes brought about.

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