Foreign investments worth $100 billion are knocking at the doors of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday, calling for stronger Centre-state relations to capitalise on the opportunity.
Modi, who was speaking at the Global Investors’ Summit in Indore, said foreign investors should not treat India merely as a market, but should focus on turning it into a manufacturing hub to increase the purchasing power of Indians.
"Investments worth $100 billion from abroad have applied for visa. Now it is the turn of the states to capitalise on the opportunity. The roads are wide open. The states which are ready can walk away with major share," Modi told a gathering of India’s top industrialists.
"When we talk about Make in India, then we want to create confidence in the world that there is a huge investment possibility in India. Please do not consider India only as a market... dump goods, sell them and make profits."
Modi called for greater cooperation between states and the Centre, saying the country's strength lies in its states and it cannot just rest on the Centre.
"India cannot grow without the support of other pillars. There cannot be a conflict between the states and the Centre. In fact, they have to complement each other if the country has to attain heights," he said.
"I want to work as Team India. All CMs and the PM should work together to take country ahead."
Madhya Pradesh is the country’s fastest growing state with some of its best infrastructure but private investment has not kept pace.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been following on the heels of states like Gujarat and Tamil Nadu to promote a pro-business climate in a bid to coax investment in Madhya Pradesh.
Modi said states can contribute in a big way in nation building by picking up the Centre's programmes and contributing to those in their own way.
He cited the example of Madhya Pradesh which has announced concessions for assimilation and production of defence products.
"Madhya Pradesh has taken a great step in making India self-sufficient in defence sector (in coming days)," he said.
Justifying his decision to allow 100% FDI in the railways, the PM said the sector alone could inject oxygen into India’s economy. He claimed that FDI in the railways has the mandate of all its employees.