No better place to invest than India: FM

Investors can find no better place in the world than India that has a democracy- loving and a capitalist-respecting environment, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said. She also assured international investors during an interaction session at the IMF’s headquarters that the government was continuously working towards bringing reforms. “It (India) is one of the fastest growing (economies) even today. It has the best skilled manpower and a government that is continuously doing what is required in the name of reforms, above all democracy and rule of law,” she said. To a question on why investors should allocate funds for India, she said even if the legal system involves a little bit of delay, India is a transparent and an open society. Rule of law works The rule of law works and there are a lot of reforms happening, even those to cut down delays, she said. “So, you will not have anything better… democracy-loving, capitalist-respecting environment… in India,” Ms. Sitharaman said. Responding to questions from major insurance companies, who urged her to remove the cap on investment in this sector, she said the government needs to understand what the expectations of the sector are other than removing the cap. The Minister, however, said she will not be able to give them an assurance at this point of time, but will work on the matter. Asserting the government is engaging with everyone on a weekly basis and there is no trust deficit with the corporate sector and investors, she said there is a greater understanding that this government is willing to hear and wanting to respond. The government is committed to maintaining fiscal deficit in India, she added. On the slowdown in the Indian economy, the Minister said the government is taking steps to address problems in “stressed” sectors. Though the Budget was presented in July, in a year when there was interim budget presented before the election, we didn’t wait for the next Budget to come in February of 2020. Almost at a 10-day interval, we have been announcing one or the other intervention with which each of the stressed areas can be addressed, she said. To boost consumption, the government has clearly said public expenditure for infrastructure will be clearly front loaded, she said. Similarly, for increasing money in the hands of the people so that consumption can improve, I’ve requested all the public sector banks together with their partners, non-banking, financial companies to reach out to villages, districts and extend every kind of credit that they would want, she said.

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