Speaking at the Seminar “Invest in India Summit 2015 – Financing for Future Growth”, held on the sidelines of Vibrant Gujarat, in Gandhinagar, Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitely said that this Government has taken major steps to improve the investment climate in the last several months and will continue to do so. The minister pointed out that investment climate had changed for the positive, to begin with, because there is a dynamic and decisive Prime Minister at the helm of affairs. He said that today there was credible governance and effective decision making. As a reminder to the people, he said that, the Government must come out of traditional mind sets of pro-business or pro-poor and focus on comprehensive development. He also said that the government’s direction must be clear and the pace in that direction must be quick.
Speaking to a largely corporate audience, Shri Arun Jaitely said that the country needs investments, as it has a long distance to go especially in developing some of the eastern and north east states. He briefly touched upon the areas in which the government has taken positive steps to improve the investment climate, such as opening of Insurance and defence sector for foreign investments. He said that if India could buy defence equipment from foreign countries than why not permit investment and participation in manufacture of those goods in the country itself. He said that the government plan to build 100 smart cities had created scope for foreign investment. Investment in railways too has been allowed by this government.
The Minister said that the Government has taken steps to rectify some flaws in the tax regime which was responsible for keeping investment away. Many complications in Company Law are also being done away with and process is being simplified to avoid veto by minority. He pointed out that the previous government had taken populist measures with regard to land in order to gain votes. This disrupted the investment climate resulting in slow down in development. His government’s Land Acquisition Ordinance has sought to rectify those ills. This will give a boost to rural electrification and rural roads. Creation of industrial corridors will help all including rural areas. The coal ordinance too will help provide cheap coal and hence cheap power to the people. The Minister added that the planning commission has been replaced by a policy commission which would be more democratic and engage states in the planning process.
The Finance Minister said that in the near future, GST could become a reality and further improve the investment climate. Tourism would gain by e-visas and 24 hour custom services at Airports and Seaports will smoothen trading activity. He said that banks would be given more independence in management In conclusion, he said that India must stand in the first row for investment after learning from its recent mistakes.