FDI to India up while dipping globally: Sitharaman

Bengaluru, Feb 4 (IANS) India was the only country with rising Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) while it was falling the world over, said Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday.

“India is the only country witnessing a 38 percent FDI rise, while globally it dipped to 16 percent,” said Sitharaman at the valedictory session of the Invest Karnataka 2016 Global Investors Meet (GIM).

Praising Karnataka, she said the state contributes six percent of the nation’s GDP and is growing at the rate of seven percent. “Karnataka is the third largest recipient of FDI and it will be higher after the GIM,” she said.

Listing the efforts of Indian government to promote and nurture the IT industry, she said Indian government always raises the issue of free movement of people at all bilateral and multilateral engagements.

“We place great emphasis on the free movement of people at all bilateral and multilateral meetings… so that our IT employees can freely move between countries on their professional assignments,” said Sitharaman.

The commerce minister disapproved the recent US visa fee hike and said she took it up with the US government.

“Why such unreasonable visa fees should be imposed on the Indian IT companies? We are not against paying visa fees but against unreasonable visa fees.”

US President Barack Obama on December 19 signed into law a $1.8-trillion spending package, which includes a hefty $4,000 fee for certain categories of H-1B visa and $4,500 for L-1 visa.

Sitharaman lauded Tumakuru to emerge as an investment and manufacturing hub.

“Tumakuru was chosen from among 12 places by Japanese prime minister when they taking a call on where to direct Japanese investment in India,” she said.

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