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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

FDI approvals to boost Indian economy, India-US relations: CII

PTI  Washington, July 17, 2013
First Published: 08:42 IST(17/7/2013) | Last Updated: 10:35 IST(17/7/2013)

The series of foreign direct investment proposal approved by the Union Cabinet in key areas of defence, insurance and telecom along with others would provide the much needed boost to the Indian economy, a top Indian industry leader has said.

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"It is good news for India, a very bold and a significant step," Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), told PTI.

The announcements of reforms have come at a very important time, because the country is facing various challenges in terms of growth and deficit, he said.

"This would really help both in terms of improving in terms of our revenue, in terms of our investment and in terms of Indian companies to grow," he said.

Banerjee is leading a high powered delegation of Indian CEOs to the US for a week-long trip during which they have been meeting senior government officials, lawmakers, think tanks and members of the industry.

Banerjee said the Indian industry welcomes the move as efforts were going on for quite some time to push FDI in telecom, defence and insurance sector.

"For quite some time, we have been talking about reforms to be pushed and continued. We have been talking about FDIs in certain specific areas and today telecom is a big announcement," he said.

Noting that India-US relationship is at a cross road, Banerjee said there are several issues that the American companies have been raising and the ability of India to reform.

"This has come at a very good signal. We have been meeting people, meeting think-tanks. We have talked about these steps that India has taken today. This is a good news for them and there is tremendous appreciation for this in the United States," he said.

Referring to the immediate feedback he received about the latest announcements from his American counterparts, he said, "They think that despite the challenges India has and the upcoming elections, we are on track as far as reforms are concerned."

"That is very important from the sentiment point of view, and also from the perspective of India US relationship," he said.

Banerjee, however, said that it still might take time before the flow of FDI is seen in India as a result of these major policy changes.

"It takes time. It does not happen overnight," he said.

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