Mumbai: India is according the highest priority
to investments in public works, including roads, airports
and transport services, besides energy sector even as
the country continues to keep almost all sectors open
to foreign direct investment, prime minister Manmohan
Singh told a meeting of British businessmen.
effort is to ensure that India has a world-class infrastructure
including ports, airports, roads, the transport services
and a lot more investment in the power and other related
energy systems. These are our highest priorities,"
infrastructure alone, our estimate is that we need an
investment of about $150 billion in the next seven to
eight years," he said while announcing that India
would soon finalise a policy and put in place a regulatory
and institutional framework for infrastructure sector.
Manmohan said, proposes to scale up investments to 32-34
per cent of its GDP to help achieve a 10 per cent annual
economic growth. "We are currently investing about
30 per cent. So we need to increase the investment rate
by about 2 per cent of our GDP," he added.
asked UK businesses to "take a more vigorous, more
dynamic, more aggressive interest" in investing
in India. He said there was an enormous scope for cooperation
between the investment communities of the two economies.
Lambert, the director-general of the Confederation of
British Industry (CBI), meanwhile, called for a free-trade
pact between Britain and the European Union and India.
Lambert, who heads UK''s leading organisation representing
240,000 businesses and 80 of the FTSE''s 100 companies,
demanded a massive upgrading of Britain''s warm-if-slightly-underdeveloped
business relationship with India to realise the full
potential of economic links between the two countries.
CBI members employ around a third of the UK''s private
sector workforce and is an important player in the construction
of Britain''s policy and business architecture.
call came at the start of the India-UK Investment Summit,
along with the annual summit meeting of prime ministers
Tony Blair and Manmohan Singh under the terms of the
September 2004 joint London declaration.