Indian states competing to attract investments: says Prime Minister - GulfToday

Indian states competing to attract investments: says Prime Minister


A worker harvests cotton in a field on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India. Reuters

Every state in the country is competing to attract business and investment, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday in his rebuttal of the continuous harping by the opposition that the economic situation has been bad.

“Earlier, investors’ summit like these used to happen in just few cities in the country. The situation has changed today. Every state today is competing to attract business and investment,” donning Himachali cap Modi told a galaxy of business delegates and investors, comprising foreign nationals at Himachal Pradesh’s first two-day Global Investor Summit here.

In his over half-an-hour speech in Hindi, the Prime Minister said “a positive competition could be seen among the states”.

“The governments are taking initiatives and are removing unimportant mechanisms. The rise in this competition will help our industry grow better at the global level,” he said.

Hailing Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur for bringing policies to attract investments, Modi said the massive jump in ease-of-doing ranking for India isn’t just a statistical change but a revolution in the way business is done in India.

“It is a major revolution for industry in India. It means our government is taking decisions that have helped the industrial grassroots mechanism get better.” “We are adding new layers annually, making it more flexible and better.” Asking Himachal to take a leaf from another mountainous state Sikkim in exploring organic farming, whose Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang was those sharing the dais, the Prime Minister said there is probably no company in the pharmacy industry that doesn’t produce its medicines in Himachal already.

Eyeing a lot of opportunities in Himachal and a lot remains untapped even today, Modi said, “We need to think how unique properties of every district need to be explored and presented to the globe.” “Today, tourism is being promoted as a package in India. From nature, adventure, spiritual, medical or eco, all types of tourism are being given equal weightage. Himachal is full of opportunities and potential,” Modi, who proudly says Himachal is his second home, said.

“I am not a guest in Himachal Pradesh, I am a Himachali. I am the host of this summit.” He said the public infrastructure fund of Rs5 lakh crore would be used in the next five years and this would also benefit Himachal Pradesh. “Himachal is fulfilling every requirement for business. It delivers peace and a society that accepts diversity,” he said, indirectly hinting the entrepreneurs to invest in the state.

Modi said Himachal’s growth in the last two years is noteworthy. “Congrats to the people and state government.” National and international business delegates arrived at Dharamsala on Wednesday for the summit that will see participating of Union Ministers Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari and Piyush Goyal along with other industry and foreign investors.

The investors’ summit − Rising Himachal − aims to attract investment in the agri-business, food processing and post-harvest technology, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals, tourism, hospitality and civil aviation, hydro and renewable energy, among others, sectors, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said.

Earlier India’s Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Krishnamurthy Subramanian said that it is the right time to invest in the country as labour cost and other expenditures would be lower due to the slowing economy and it is investment which would spur economic growth.

Speaking at a FICCI event on retail, FMCG and e-commerce, the Chief Economic Advisor observed that economic activity and growth involves a cycle which would fasten if investments grow.

“The economy typically goes through a virtuous cycle.

The key driver of this cycle is investment. It’s investment that enhances productivity, and productivity enhances wages, and creates jobs in the economy,” Subramanian said.

“Productivity increases purchasing power and anticipating that purchasing power, corporates invest more,” he added, while elaborating on the cycle.

He said that in 2008-09, the investment rate in the country was around 40 per cent of the gross domestic period (GDP), which eventually came down due to vareious reasons, including high non-performing assets and “excessive capacity creation at corporate level”. He noted that although recent discussions have largely centred around a consumption slowdown, consumption is a short term variable in the economy, while investments have to be made with a long term perspective.

The Chief Economic Advisor also said that it is the “dual duty” of large corporates to invest and set an example for other companies.