PM holds meet to discuss strategy to attract investment amid pandemic

modiNEW DELHI : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a comprehensive meeting to discuss strategies to attract more foreign investments into India in order to give a boost to the economy against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Discussions were held to attract foreign investment, as well as promote domestic investment. The Covid-induced lockdown has led to a slump in economic activity. However, the Reserve Bank of India has predicted a sharp economic recovery in 2021-22.

During the meeting, PM Modi directed that the action should be taken for a more proactive approach to handhold the investors, to look into their problems, and help them in getting all the necessary Central and state clearances in a time-bound manner.

“Various strategies to bring investments into India in a fast-track mode and to promote Indian domestic sectors were discussed,” it said, adding that detailed discussions were held on guiding states to evolve their strategies and be more proactive in attracting investments.States were also urged to take a proactive approach in helping investors get necessary government clearances.

The meeting, which was attended by the Finance Minister, the Home Minister, the Minister for Commerce & Industries, MoS (Finance) along with senior officials, also discussed that the reform initiatives undertaken by the various Ministries should continue unabated and the action should be taken in a time-bound manner to remove any obstacles which impede the promotion of investment and industrial growth.
After the meeting PM Modi tweeted: “Chaired a high-level meeting to discuss ways to boost investment, both international and domestic. Issues relating to India’s reform trajectory also discussed so growth can be accelerated”.
The Prime Minister’s meeting comes amid widespread concern for the economy after a prolonged lockdown to prevent transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Earlier this month another report by Reuters suggested a package worth Rs 1,300 crore would focus on small and medium businesses, with a third focused on bigger companies after assessing the extent of damage suffered.

Small businesses account for nearly a quarter of India’s $2.9 trillion economy and employ more than 50 crore workers, according to government estimates. Last week, however, cabinet ministers told on condition of anonymity, the package could take time. They suggested the delay was because the government is unclear how the pandemic will evolve over the next months.

Further relaxations are expected after May 3, when the second phase of the Prime Minister’s lockdown ends, the Home Ministry said on Wednesday. On Tuesday ratings agency Moody’s cut its forecast for India’s GDP growth, for this financial year, to 0.2 per cent; in March it predicted 2.5 per cent growth.

Moody’s outlook on the economy mirrored projections by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which said India’s GDP would grow at only 1.9 per cent. However, IMF said the Indian economy could grow at over seven per cent in 2021/22, if the coronavirus pandemic were contained.

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