Modi asks British biz to invest in India, assures ‘personal attention’

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Nov 13, 2015 12:27 IST
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addresses an audience of business leaders and politicians at Guildhall in central London on Thursday Nov. 12, 2015. (AP)

Highlighting the latest round of economic reforms announced earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited British business to invest more in India, assuring them of his “personal attention” in their projects in “among the most open countries” for FDI.

Speaking before a business audience at the historic Guildhall in London on Thursday, Modi also said that India is among the “most open” countries for foreign investments with the latest round of FDI reforms, asserting, at this point of time, it is “wiser to be in India.”

Stating that he is personally eager to work with the British government and companies, he vowed “my personal care in making your dreams a reality.”

“To enhance the flow of foreign investments, we have liberalized the FDI regime allowing 100% FDI in railways. We enhanced the FDI limits to 49% in Defence and Insurance”, said Modi.

“We are also conscious of the last mile operational issues in such policies. In that spirit, early this week, we have carried out substantial changes in the FDI regime across 15 sectors…With this round of reforms, I can say that India is among the most open countries for foreign investments”, Modi said.

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On concerns over tax issues, Modi mentioned a series of measures undertaken by his government, and said he wanted India’s tax regime to be transparent and predictable.

“We are also keen to see that genuine investors and honest tax payers get quick and fair decisions on tax matters. As a result of our initiatives, the sentiments for private investment and inflow of foreign investment have turned positive. FDI inflows have gone up by 40% compared with previous year’s corresponding period”, he said.

India, Modi said, offered “immense opportunities” to British companies, including those that range from building 50 million houses to setting up 100 smart cities; modernization of railway network and re-development of stations to new railway corridors; generation of 175 GW of renewable energy to transmission and distribution networks, from National Highways and bridges, to Metro rail networks.

“Such a huge potential for creation of infrastructure and production of goods will not be available in any other country. More importantly, no one place on the earth can offer the potential for usage and consumption on such a massive scale”, he said.

Modi added: “I assure you of my personal care in making your dreams a reality. Many of you belong to India; Many of you are in India already. But for those who are not there, I must say that: At this point of time, it is wiser to be in India; further, we are making it easier to invest in India. And believe me, we are making it even better to ‘Make in India’.”

A slew of private sector projects amounting to 9.2 billion pounds were announced after his address.


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