Union Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday urged international investors to invest in India. Sitharaman, speaking at the IMF's headquarters in Washington DC, said there would be no better place to invest in the world than India, which she said had brought several structural reforms to provide a healthy business environment in the country. The event was hosted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in association with the US India Strategic and Partnership Forum.
"It (India) is one of the fastest-growing (economies) even today. It has the best-skilled manpower and a government that is continuously doing what is required in the name of reforms, above all democracy and rule of law," Sitharaman said on Wednesday.
Taking a dig at China while making a pitch for India, the FM said though India's court system is a bit delayed, it's a "transparent and open society" where rule of law works. "So you will not have anything better... democracy-loving, capitalist respecting environment... in India," she said.
On a question of removing cap on investment in the insurance sector, the FM said the government was "quite open to it". The FM, however, shied away from giving full assurance and said she would work on the matter.
Assuring there is no trust deficit with the corporate sector and investors, she said there is a greater understanding that this government is willing to hear and also wanting to respond.
To a question on the slowdown in the Indian economy, the finance minister said the government was taking steps to address problems in the "stressed" sectors. She said even though this year's Budget was presented in July, the government didn't wait for the next year's budget to announce relief measures of various industries.
"To boost consumption, the government has very clearly said public expenditure for infrastructure will be front-loaded," Sitharaman said. "For increasing money in the hands of the people so that consumption can improve, I've requested all banks and non-banking financial companies to reach out to villages, districts and extend every kind of credit that they would want," she said.
Edited by Manoj Sharma with PTI inputs