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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Obama misinformed, certain lobbies spreading stories: Govt

PTI  Bangalore/New Delhi, July 15, 2012
First Published: 22:26 IST(15/7/2012) | Last Updated: 01:36 IST(16/7/2012)

Responding to US President Barack Obama raising concerns over "deteriorating" investment climate in India, government on Sunday said certain "international lobbies" were spreading such stories and he was not properly informed about the country's strong economic fundamentals.

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"Certain international lobbies like Vodafone are spreading this kind of a story and Obama was not properly informed about the things that are happening, particularly when India's economic fundamentals are strong," corporate affairs minister Veerappa Moily told reporters in Bangalore when asked about Obama's remarks in an interview to PTI.

Opposition parties lashed out at Obama for his remarks that India prohibits foreign investment in too many sectors, with BJP saying the country cannot open its markets just because he wants it.

"If Obama wants FDI in retail and India does not want, then it won't come just because he is demanding it," was the terse reaction of BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said in Delhi.

Moily said the perception of deteriorating investment climate in India was not based on economic parameters, but on certain impression of few individuals, entrepreneurs and investors.

"That is also being removed. Once that perception is removed, I think in 2-3 months, we are back again with a kickstart to pick up the same speed as we had done in the last decade," he said.

Moily said there was no crisis in India, whereas the US and other countries were facing crisis, "not once but twice in 2008 and 2010". http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/7/16-july-pg-01a.jpg

"Not even a single financial institution has collapsed in this country, whereas many such things have collapsed in US and other countries," he said.

He said in the last one decade, India has registered a vibrant growth rate of 8 to 9.5%, "but perhaps for the economic crisis in the US and Europe, the country would have definitely crossed 10 per cent of the GDP."

"That is the potential of India which can recover back immediately by taking some remedial steps," Moily said.

He said 55% of the investment in the form of FIIs and FDIs comes from as many as ten countries like Mauritius, Cyprus and Singapore, and only 19% comes from the US and other countries.

"Ultimately Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is going to address all these problems and it is being considered. That's why again the investment climate is picking up," he said.

BJP Vice-President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi termed the US President's remarks as "laughable".

"That country is giving us a certificate on investment and economy when it itself is facing economic problems. We have to ensure our national interests on our own. It is laughable," he said.

The CPI-M reacted to Obama's remarks in a similar fashion. "They want to open up our economy and market on their terms. For this purpose they are creating this pressure," said party leader Nilotpal Basu.

The BJP and the Left have opposed FDI, especially in retail citing interests of the small trader.

The Samajwadi Party, which is extending outside support to UPA, said India will not take a decision in support of the United States.

"They only want their market to expand in our country," SP leader Shahid Siddique said.

Noting that India prohibited foreign investment in too many sectors such as retail, Obama on Sunday cited concerns over deteriorating investment climate here to endorse another "wave" of economic reforms.


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