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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

India story on investment is just starting out: Chidambaram

None   Greater Noida, May 04, 2013
First Published: 19:25 IST(4/5/2013) | Last Updated: 19:28 IST(4/5/2013)

With government liberalising FDI norms and setting up a system to speed up mega projects, finance minister P Chidambaram today said India story of investment is "just starting out".

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Addressing the First Business Session of ADB Annual Meeting in Greater Noida, he said many projects are plagued by "last mile" bottlenecks in fuel supply, environment clearance, forest clearance, and land acquisition and a Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) has been set up to fast track the projects.

"We have permitted FDI in areas such as multi-brand retail, power exchanges, aviation and broadcasting," he said, adding "As I am fond of saying, India's story on investment is just starting out".

The CCI has cleared several mega major projects, including those in the oil and natural gas sectors, which were stuck due to various regulatory clearances.

Following liberalisation of the FDI policy in the aviation sector, Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia has joined hands with Tata Sons and Telestra Tradeplace to launch an airline in India.

Chidambaram, who is also chairman of the ADB Board of Governors, said the government is determined to accelerate the pace of inclusive growth, while maintaining macroeconomic stability.

"We are committed to fiscal consolidation. It will reverse the slippages that took place as a result of the stimulus packages (given in aftermath of global slowdown)," he said.

The finance minister said the fiscal deficit as a proportion of GDP would be brought down to 3 per cent by 2016-17.

"This we will achieved by a prudent combination of revenue enhancement as well as expenditure rationalisation," he said, adding India was determined to boost investment – both domestic as well as foreign.

Referring to India-ADB engagement, Chidambaram said he was pleased to note that ADB is now embarking on supporting initiatives in skills development.

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