Corporate America seeks a bold India budget

March 14th, 2012 - 12:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 14 (IANS) Presenting corporate America’s wish list for the Indian budget, a leading US-India trade association wants India to press forward with bold economic reforms to make it easier for companies to conduct business.

“Our member companies need to see in the Budget that India’s reform process is moving forward - boldly,” said Ron Somers, President of US-India Business Council (USIBC) representing about 400 top American and Indian companies seeking a stronger US-India commercial relationship.

Releasing a road-map of policy recommendations outlining what it called “global industry’s aspirations for the India Budget” Somers said “Business leadership supports a robust commercial agenda that enables the two-way promise of US-India investment to flourish in both countries.”

“We hope the coming 2012-2013 India Budget will create a welcoming environment that nurtures this promise,” he said.

“Now that the regional elections of March are behind us, it is essential for the Government of India to press forward with bold economic reforms that will boost growth, tame inflation, reduce government debt as a percentage of GDP, and make it easier for companies to conduct business, leading to greater job creation,” Somers said.

Suggested “Important reforms” included opening of the multi-brand retail sector to reduce food price inflation; enhancing tech transfer by increasing FDI caps in defence; and expanding the social safety net through long-term investment in the pensions and insurance sectors by passing long-awaited legislation.

These reforms “will not only demonstrate India’s resolve to maintain robust growth for its 1.2 billion citizens, but will also send a strong signal to international investors that India is open for business,” said Somers.

To underscore this sense of urgency, USIBC Chairman Harold “Terry” McGraw III will be leading the largest-ever USIBC Board-level Executive Mission to India next week, USIBC said.

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