No impact of political controversies on investment: Mukherjee

July 26th, 2011 - 12:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh London, July 26 (IANS) On the day former telecom minister A. Raja sought to drag Prime Minister Manmohan Singh into the second generation (2G) spectrum case, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said political storms had no impact on India’s investment climate.

“The ground reality is in the pact three months, India has received more than $7.9 billion foreign direct investment — almost double the amount it recorded during the corresponding period of last year,” Mukherjee said here Monday evening.

“It speaks of our investment climate,” the finance minister said during a joint press conference with British Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne after holding the Indo-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue here.

Earlier, addressing the dialogue, Mukherjee said every effort was being made to make the norms for foreign direct investment simpler for overseas investors, including addressing issues such as payments on transfer of technology, trademarks and royalty.

“Discussions are currently underway to build consensus on further liberalisation of our foreign investment policy in retail and defence sectors,” said the minister, hinting at opening up of multi-brand retailing to global giants such as Wal-Mart and Carrefour.

“We also intend to double exports from India in the next three years to reach a level of $500 billion. We are in the process of finalising a national manufacturing policy to increase the share of manufacturing from 16 percent to 25 percent of GDP.”

He said while India was the third largest investor in Britain with over 600 Indian companies here, Britain was the fourth largest investor in India with significant investments in oil and gas, ports, electronics and services.

“Our efforts are towards making India the preferred destination for your businesses.”

On the domestic front, he said, the Indian economy was on a path of robust recovery since the global slowdown, with growth estimated at 8.5 percent in 2010-11, following 8 percent in the previous fiscal.

“We have recorded one of the fastest growth rates in the world and are nearly back to our pre-crisis growth levels.”

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