India and Germany today signed a deal to fast-track business approvals, to make it easier for German companies to operate in the country and to fast-track Prime Minister Narendra Modi's own 'Make in India' programme.
The fast-track approval process, announced after German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to New Delhi, will ensure that German firms will have a single point of contact in the Indian administration, helping them to navigate a web of red tape that often thwarts business initiative.
The joint announcement for fast tracking German investments was made during the signing of 18 memoranda of understanding and agreements between the two countries after Merkel and Modi concluded the third round of India-Germany Intergovernmental Consultations (IGIC) in New Delhi today.
India had earlier signed a similar agreement with Japan in a bid to fast-track investments from that country. The agreement with Germany comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought to attract investment from that country in support of his "Make in India" drive to boost industrial investment and create skilled jobs.
Commerce secretary Amitabh Kant said under the fast-track arrangement, India "would monitor on a monthly basis all issue for German companies.'
"The prospects are huge because India is just beginning its long spurt for growth," Kant told a business round table.
India and Germany also agreed to enhance ties in key areas of defence manufacturing, trade, intelligence and clean energy during wide-ranging talks between Modi and the German Chancellor after which the 18 MoUs were inked.
Germany will also provide assistance of over one billion euros for India's green energy corridor and solar projects.
"I admire German leadership in clean energy and commitment to combating climate change," PM Modi said while addressing a joint press conference with German chancellor Angela Merkel.
Modi also expressed his gratitude for the return of the 10th century statue of Durga in her Mahishasurmardini avatar.