New Delhi, Jun 24: Asserting that continuous reforms make India a great place to do business, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday invited global investors to take advantage of the recent FDI reforms, the privatisation policy and the performance linked incentive (PLI) scheme. Speaking at the Global Investors Roundtable organised by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), the finance minister said that the fiscal situation is under control and is expected to improve further, and also emphasised the strong fundamental of the economy.
The fiscal deficit for 2020-21 was at 9.3 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), lower than 9.5 per cent estimated by the finance ministry in the revised Budget estimates. COVID-19 and its aftermath has shown the Indian economy’s resilience, Sitharaman said, adding that the highest ever Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection shows the bright spot and indicates greater formalisation of the economy and tax compliance.
While speaking to foreign investors such as Mastercard, MetLife, Prudential, Dell, SoftBank and Warburg Pincus, she said that 15 new unicorns in 2021 itself reflects the growing startup ecosystem in India to be amongst the best in the world, the ministry said in a statement. The minister stated that the country is committed for a long-term relationship with US investors and proposes to meet twice yearly.
Macro-economic stability, infrastructure-led economic growth opportunities, financial sector reforms, and positioning as a strong player in global supply chain are just some of the ways India continues to rise as a global economic powerhouse, Sitharaman said. She informed investors about the significant drop in new Covid infections in the country and decline of the second wave, and vision to make India self-reliant (Aatmanirbhar Bharat). There has been continued macro-economic stability and resilience in the economic recovery in recent months, and steps have been taken for infrastructure led to economic growth, the minister said.
She said multi-sectoral opportunities have been created for investors and there has been a strong track record of reform implementation in the last six years. Sitharaman spoke about going ahead with an overall vision to build a self-reliant modern India driven by 5 “Is"- Intent, Inclusion, Investment, Infrastructure and Innovation. The event provided investors with an opportunity to engage with the finance minister and senior officials of the Indian government to discuss potential investment opportunities and deliberate on the role of ongoing policy reforms that will enable greater Ease-of-Doing-Business in India, the statement said. Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth highlighted the broad themes of the 2021 Budget and how changes made are far reaching.
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