American companies has urged finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to issue a bold Union Budget that would unleash the next generation of economic reforms and help India realise its full growth potential.
In a 22-page memorandum submitted to Mukherjee, the US India Business Council (USIBC) sought reforms in key areas including opening up of the multi-brand retail sector to reduce food inflation, enhancing technology transfer by increasing FDI caps in defence; and expanding the social safety net through long-term investment in the pension and insurance sectors by passing long-awaited legislations.
"Now that the regional elections of March are behind us, it is essential for the Government of India to press forward with bold economic reforms that will boost growth, tame inflation, reduce government debt as a percentage of GDP, and make it easier for companies to conduct business, leading to greater job creation," said Ron Somers, president, USIBC. "Our member firms need to see in the Budget that India's reform process is moving forward - boldly."
To push its case, USIBC chairman Harold "Terry" McGraw III will be leading the largest-ever board-level executive mission to India, arriving in India on March 18, within days of the budget.