Responding to US President Barack Obama's remark that the investment climate in India is 'deteriorating', Commerce Minister Anand Sharma on Monday assured that the country has an "investment friendly climate", adding that Mr Obama's "perception is "different from reality". Sharma also said that he had taken a note President Obama's statement.
Meanwhile, cutting across party lines, political leaders downplayed US President Barack Obama's remarks about the deteriorating foreign direct investment climate in India.
Obama had in an interview to an Indian news agency suggested more economic reforms, particularly in the retail sector to enable foreign direct investment (FDI) and entry to American companies.
However, Union Corporate Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily said the perceived inhospitable environment for foreign investment was a passing phase, and added that the country's economy was far from failing as perceived by the West.
"I think that temporary, passing phase cannot be taken as a concrete ground to say the economy of the country is failing. That is totally wrong. It is left to him (Obama) to make a comment. We are not here to interpret his statement," Moily said in Bangalore.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that when Obama is against the outsourcing of jobs to India, India has no option but to prioritise its own interests on an issue such as FDI in the retail sector.
"(Obama) has also curtailed and stopped outsourcing to India, and has spent millions of dollars on an anti-India campaign in America attacking his competitor Mitt Romney for 'shipping' American jobs to India. So, if he can stop outsourcing and charge the Indians, that they are taking away the American jobs, India has full rights to stop FDI in retail to safeguard the interests of millions of common retailers. We cannot ruin the lives and families of these retailers just to please Mr. Obama," BJP leader Tarun Vijay told media in New Delhi.
Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said Obama's statements were made to curry favour with American voters in pursuit of ensuring a second consecutive term in the White House.
"Mr. Obama is contesting the president's election in America, and in the course of his poll campaigns, he is making several disagreeable remarks about India, which he should not even make during a poll campaign," Sinha told media in Jharkhand's Ramgarh District.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party (SP) Shahid Siddiqui said the interests of the Indian economy must be kept above everything else.
"We do not need any certificate from anybody, and I will tell our Prime Minister, leaders and economists that take decisions in the interest of India without caring for how the West, or how the Americans look at us. If we need FDI in retail, we should go for it. If we don't need FDI in retail, then we should not go for it. We have to see the interests of our peasantry, common people, shop-keepers, middle class and ultimately, the interests of the Indian economy," Siddiqui said.