Assuring BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) partners of weeding out structural hindrances, India has urged the former to invest in its ambitious programmes including ‘100 Smart Cities’, ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ to give a push to trade engagement among the member countries.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, while addressing a meeting of BRICS Ministers of Industries, said the Indian government is contemplating to reduce corporate taxes. She said India is a land of opportunities for trade and investment as its medium term growth prospects have significantly improved.
“The current government is taking concerted efforts to reduce red tape while FDI limit in Railways, defence and insurance sectors have been liberalized. That apart, we are also trying to implement goods and services tax at the earliest. Public investment in the infrastructure sector is also augmenting,” she remarked, adding the government has indeed brought a wave of optimism through its 100 Smart Cities and Make in India programmes.
Buoyed by the ‘success’ of Narendra Modi-led government’s financial inclusion initiatives, Swaraj said that over 170 million bank accounts have been opened and over 100 million debit cards with insurance cover have been issued so far.
“The smart cities project has changed the paradigm of urbanisation in India and creating huge opportunities of unparallelled investment,” said Swaraj. The Minister described India as the most attractive investment destination in the world by naming an ace consultancy.
“The FDI inflows in the country in 2014-15 have already reached a historic high of USD 44 billion. Forex reserves are at all time high of over USD 350 billion,” she added. She laid emphasis on the need of removing structural impediments for giving a boost to trade engagement amongst BRICS nations.