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India, US to zero in on priority sectors

business Updated: Jan 27, 2015 23:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

India and the US will identify priority sectors for attracting investments and technology, union commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman said after her meeting with her American counterpart Penny Pritzker on Tuesday.

Sitharaman also discussed issues regarding the totalisation agreement aimed at removing double payment of social security contributions by Indian workers in the US, and easing of visa restrictions, apart from inviting US views on the draft of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy.

“We invited the Americans to have a look at the policy and invited inputs from them on the draft policy,” she added. IPR protection was one of the major issues that was discussed between the two countries in the just-finished three-day state visit of President Barack Obama.

A detailed announcement is expected to be made after the budget session that will begin next month.

India, US officials to meet after Budget

Sitharaman revealed that senior officials from both sides will meet to discuss and identify the sectors that can attract investment and technology. “They (officials) will sit and identify sectors where priority investments can come in,” the minister told reporters after the meeting with the US commerce secretary.

She called for enhanced technology sharing and investments in India’s small and medium enterprises. India has asked the US to explore the possible areas where technology could be shared, and also support it with investments to help small and medium enterprises.

The government is likely to set up a task force to usher in investments and identify sectors that have the possibility to attract inflow of funds from the US. “A task force will certainly help, especially to identify sectors and areas that need to be prioritized, so investments can flow in,” said Sitharaman.

“US will play a positive role in building peaceful and prosperous South Asia,” said Vikramjit Sahney, chair, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (India).

(with agency inputs)