The UPA government will further liberalise foreign direct investment policy in the coming weeks to ensure that India retains its leadership position for attracting foreign investments, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said on Wednesday.
India, he pointed out, had liberalised FDI policy in key sectors such as civil aviation, retail and telecom to cater to the demands of the global business community to emerge the most favoured investment destination globally in 2013.
Last year, the government also relaxed foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in sectors such as defence, PSU oil refineries, commodity bourses, power exchanges and stock exchanges, he said, adding, "the decisions of the government have resonated with the global community and we have seen results in the last few months."
The ministry is now working to relax FDI norms in railways and construction activities.
He said the Indian economy has inherent strengths, which give it resilience from external pressures and the series of steps taken by the government, both on the fiscal and current account front, have yielded positive results. The manufacturing sector seems to be on the mend and there is visible rebound in industrial activity, he pointed out.
''The coming months will see a greater push for development of industrial corridors across the country and work will commence for establishment of the first few cities along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. I expect that with greater foreign investment and technology collaborations, Indian manufacturing will also move up the value chain and acquire greater competitiveness globally,'' Sharma said.
The $90 billion DMIC project is aimed at creating mega industrial infrastructure along the Delhi-Mumbai Rail Freight Corridor, which is under implementation. Japan is providing financial and technical aid for the project, which will cover seven states totalling 1,483 km.
Expressing optimism over the economy in 2014, he said the coming months will see a greater push for development of industrial corridors across the country and work will commence for establishment of the first few cities along the Delhi- Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC).
"I expect that with greater foreign investment and technology collaborations, Indian manufacturing will also move up the value chain and acquire greater competitiveness globally," he added.
During April-October this fiscal, India attracted FDI worth $12.6 billion, a decline of 15 per cent over the same period last year.
There is also optimism about the scenario on the export front in spite of weak demand in traditional markets as exports have touched $204 billion in the first eight months of the current financial year, registering a growth of over 6 per cent over the same period last year.
India's trade deficit also came down to $99.9 billion during this period as compared to $129 billion during the same period last year, Sharma said, adding that the in the remaining period of this financial year, exports will show a strong and dynamic growth.