London, Nov 13 (IANS) Calling India an easy and simple place to business in, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday invited British investors to invest in his country.
“We have worked aggressively to make India an easy and simple place to do business,” Modi said while addressing the City of London at the Old Library in Guildhall on the first day of his three-day visit to India.
“There is significant potential for India and UK to further strengthen their economic ties,” he said.
“The hallmark of our strategy now is policy-driven governance,” he said, adding that India was one of the most open countries for foreign investments.
He said the results of the hard work are now visible.
“IMF chief has recently said that India is among few bright spots in global economy today. Our growth rate in the last year was 7.3 percent,” the Indian prime minister said.
“The World Bank has very recently projected our growth rate at 7.5 percent for this fiscal and even better in the coming years. Thus, we are fortunate to be sailing in the right direction. In the World Bank Report of 2016 on ease of doing business, India has moved up by 12 ranks at one go.”
Modi said that to enhance the flow of foreign investments, India has liberalised the FDI regime allowing 100 percent FDI in railways.
“We enhanced the FDI limits to 49 percent in defence and insurance,” he said.
He also mentioned that an India Investment and Infrastructure Fund has been set up.
“We have targeted an annual contribution of $3.5 billion into this fund from our own resources. We are putting in place a professional team for asset management,” he said.
Modi said that India has also come up with the mechanism of tax free infrastructure bonds for projects in rail, road and other sectors.
“We will work together with the British government, industry and the financial markets to deepen our relationship and harness their interest in India’s infrastructure. Very soon, these bonds will become strong instruments for engagement between our financial markets,” he said.
“We want to make sure that our tax regime is transparent and predictable. We are also keen to see that genuine investors and honest tax payers get quick and fair decisions on tax matters.”
He said that in just 18 months, “we have successfully restored the credibility of India in the eyes of global players”.
At this point of time, it is wiser to be in India
Earlier in the day, India and Britain signed a civil nuclear agreement following delegation-level talks between the two sides.
After this, Modi addressed a joint session of the British parliament, becoming the first Indian prime minister to do so.