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India will be made more attractive for investment: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said India will open its doors further to foreign investment and invited entrepreneurs from across the globe to participate in a host of areas, including infrastructure sectors.

business Updated: Nov 08, 2009 13:15 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said India will open its doors further to foreign investment and invited entrepreneurs from across the globe to participate in a host of areas, including infrastructure sectors.

"Our policy will be guided by the desire to make India even more attractive for foreign direct investment," the prime minister told the India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in New Delhi.

"We are particularly keen to rationalize and simplify procedures so as to create an investor friendly environment," he told the event, that also marks 25 years of engagement between the Davos-based organisation and India.

The prime minister said the measures taken by the Indian government had resulted in foreign direct investment worth $121 billion flowing into the country since 2001-02.

"This is not a large number given the scale of our economy. Yet, in recent years India has been listed as among the most attractive locations. In addition, we also welcome portfolio investment in equity in Indian companies by institutional investors."

Manmohan Singh also told the high-profile audience of chief executives, policy-makers and representatives of civil society from across the world that a major decision had been taken recently on people-ownership in public sector firms.

"We now hope to see faster progress in sale of a portion of government shareholding in the domestic market and issue of fresh equities in respect of the selected companies," he said.

The prime minister said even though it was well established that the global financial crisis did not affect Indian banks or the financial market directly, it drew attention to the need to strengthen the country's systems in various ways.

"We need to ensure that the financial system can provide the finance needed for our development, and especially for infrastructure development. This opens up a broad agenda for reform."