India’s new pro-market finance minister on Monday pledged to takes steps to restore foreign investors’ faith in Asia’s third-largest economy and “restart the growth engine”.
P. Chidambaram, in his first policy statement since taking over last week, said India’s stuttering economy faced a string of challenges from stubborn inflation to high interest rates and a spiralling fiscal deficit.
But “with sound policies, good governance and effective implementation, we will be able to overcome these challenges,” said Chidambaram, now in his third stint as finance minister.
“The key to restart the growth engine is to attract more investment — both from domestic investors and foreign investors,” he said. India’s once-booming economy grew just 5.3 per cent between January and March — its slowest annual quarterly expansion in nine years.
P. Chidambaram on Monday tried to reassure investors that the government will fine-tune policies to meet their expectations and revive growth.
“Our policies have to be modified or fine-tuned in order to meet the expectations of different stakeholders,” Chidambaram said during his first media interaction after assuming the charge of finance portfolio.
Chidambaram unveiled a roadmap to revive growth by boosting investment. “The key to restart the growth engine is to attract more investment, both from domestic investors and foreign investors. Since investment is an act of faith, we must remove any apprehension or distrust in the minds of investors,” he said.
“We will improve communication of our policies to potential investors. The aim will be to remove the perceived difficulties in doing business in India, including fears about undue regulatory burden or regulatory over-reach,” the finance minister said.
Chidambaram said Indian companies, especially public sector enterprises which have large cash balances, would be encouraged to restart investment. “Proposals pending with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board will be processed and decisions taken expeditiously.”
In an apparent reference to the controversial amendments in taxation norms, Chidambaram said the government will fine-tune these policies to reassure investor’s confidence. The finance minister said he was confident that India will get back to a path of high economic growth.
From : Khalij