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Corruption in India hindering investments: US official

business Updated: Jun 23, 2011 21:02 IST
Yashwant Raj

Ahead of an upcoming economic dialogue with high-ranking team lead by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, a senior US official on Wednesday said corruption was an impediment against investments in India.

"It (corruption) is an impediment to investors looking to commit substantial sums of money," the official said when asked about the impact of recent corruption cases on investment. However, it will not figure as an issue at the dialogue, said the official.

"I don't respond to quotes from unidentified persons," said commerce minister Anand Sharma, when asked for a response.

A team of visiting officials of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FICCI), however, agreed corruption is indeed impacting investments, which they argued had slowed down.

"The investor doesn't know what to expect in this climate of uncertainty," said secretary- general Rajiv Kumar. "There is a crisis of confidence," said Harsh Mariwala, president.

The US delegation for the two-day talks starting June 28 will include Treasury secretary Tim Geithner, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and Securities and Exchange Commission chief Mary Schapiro.

India's exports to the US grew by 180% between 2000 and 2010 and American exports to India grew by four times. Bilateral foreign direct investment grew by 165% between 2005 and 2009.