Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that investors can find “no better place” in the world than India, which has a democracy-loving and capitalist-respecting environment. During an interaction session at the IMF’s headquarters, she assured the international investors that the government was continuously working being reforms. 

On Wednesday, Ms. Sitharaman explained why India is the ideal destination for investment and stated that “It (India) is one of the fastest-growing (economies) even today. It has the best-skilled manpower and a government that is continuously doing what is required in the name of reforms, above all democracy and rule of law.” 

She was asked why investors should allocate funds for India to which she replied, even if the court system is a bit delayed, India is a transparent and open society. 

“So you will not have anything better… democracy-loving, capitalist-respecting environment… in India,” Ms. Sitharaman said. The event was hosted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry or FICCI in association with the US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum.

Several major insurance companies asked her to remove the cap on investment in this sector. She replied that the government needs to understand what expectations of the sector are other than removing the cap. 

The Finance Minister further asserted that she would be quite open to it and they could send her the details. However, she mentioned that she will not be able to give them an assurance at this point of time, but will work on the matter. 

The government is engaging with everyone on a weekly basis and there is no trust deficit with the corporate sector and investors, she asserted. There is a greater understanding that this government is willing to hear and also wanting to respond, she added.

The government is committed to maintaining fiscal deficit in India, she said. She also answered on the slowdown in the Indian economy saying that the government is taking steps to address problems in the “stressed” sectors. 

The government has very clearly public expenditure for infrastructure will be clearly front-loaded to boost consumption, said Mr. Sitharaman. At the same time, to increase money in the hands of the people so that consumption can improve, I’ve requested all the building sector banks together with their partners, non-banking, financial companies to reach out to villages, reach out to districts and extend every kind of credit that they would want, she said.

The approach makes sure consumption is boosted, both through spending on public infrastructure or by putting actual money in the hands of the people and ensures the stress, that is specific to some sectors, is addressed, Ms. Sitharaman said.

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