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Saturday, September 28, 2013

PM Manmohan Singh allays growth concerns, invites US Inc to invest in India

PM Manmohan Singh allays growth concerns, invites US Inc to invest in India

Manmohan Singh-barack ObamaUS President Barack Obama shakes hands with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (Reuters)

Citing long-term opportunities in sectors like infrastructure and defence, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today invited US companies to invest in India while asserting that concerns about the country's growth prospects and economic policy environment are "mistaken".

Seeking to assure the foreign investors, he told US industry leaders here that virtually all political parties in India have supported the process of reforms since 1991 which gives confidence about the future direction of the country's economic policies.

Singh made the remarks while addressing US CEOs forum soon after his arrival here from Washington.

He acknowledged that India's growth had slowed down and touched five per cent from the average of eight per cent witnessed over the last decade but expressed confidence that there will be a turnaround in the second half of the current fiscal because of steps the government has taken besides the good monsoon rainfall.

"I am aware that the business community in the US has some concerns about India's growth prospects, macroeconomic stability and the economic policy environment. Doubts have been expressed about our sincerity in this regard. This is a mistaken perception," Singh said in his opening statement to business leaders.

He said the government is committed to "fostering an economic environment that is open, predictable and transparent" as well as investment friendly.

"The results of our efforts will be visible in the second half of the year. We expect stronger growth in 2013-14 than in 2012-13. The second half of the year should see a distinct turnaround, partly because of the good monsoon and partly because of the steps we have taken," he said.

Singh acknowledged that in order to restore the high growth momentum and maintain macroeconomic stability, there is need for "more and not less reforms."

"We are committed to getting India back to a sustainable growth path of 8-9 per cent. Indeed the Indian people will not tolerate anything less," Singh said.

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