India can lead globally by improving manufacture: Jaitley

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New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) At a time of protectionist trends in the developed world, India can become the leading proponent of globalisation if it improves on its manufacturing, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday.

“On whether we can lead the process of globalisation, if for three years in a row we can be among the fastest growing economies in the world…on services, we are among the leading. But the question is, can we improve our manufacturing?” said Jaitley while addressing the annual session of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

As a measure of the de-industrialisation of India, in course for quite some time, the contribution of manufacturing has shrunk to around 15-16 per cent of the GDP. Through various measures, the government is trying to increase this share to around 25 per cent.

The Finance Minister said that India has been a big beneficiary of globalisation in the way of foreign investment, especially at a time when private domestic investment has been sluggish.

As per official data, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into India in 2016 jumped 18 per cent to a record $46.4 billion, at a time when global FDI inflows fell.

Moreover, investments by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) into Indian equities and bonds in March hit the highest in about 15 years. Overseas investors bought $8.84 billion worth of Indian shares and bonds during March in the biggest monthly inflow since 2002.

In this connection, Jaitley mentioned that the government would soon wind up the inter-ministerial Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) that approves investment proposals.

“We are in the final stages of doing away with the FIPB…90 per cent of FDI is anyway now allowed through the ‘automatic route’,” he said.

On the occasion, Jaitley released the CII reports on Transparency in Real Estate Sector and Ethics in Healthcare Sector.

The report on Transparency in Real Estate Sector made recommendations related to areas such as fair trade practices, fair norms related to project delivery, adhering to timelines, and maintaining delivery schedules, among others.

–IANS

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