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Indian policy dampens investment: Powell

Several recent  policy decisions by India have caused 'significant concern' and 'dampened sentiment' about its investment climate, US Ambassador to India Nancy J Powell said on Monday.

'The adoption of manufacturing policies discriminatory to foreign companies and the inclusion of retroactive tax provisions in the Finance Bill are two examples,' Powell said, addressing members of the Indo American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) and American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Tamil Nadu.

Voicing concern over challenges to trade and investment, she also called for a level playing field for US companies doing business with India.

Powell said she was committed to ensuring that US companies can compete on a level playing field in India and operate in the same open and fair environment that Indian firms enjoy in the US. Powell said she had met US and Indian businessmen in Washington before her arrival, and they voiced their concerns over high tariff and non-tariff barriers, restrictions on foreign investment, lack of transparency and defence offset requirements.

On the economic opportunities between the two, Powell said both India and the US were 'poised to sign an additional $8 billionin direct commercial and foreign military sales,' through which India would assume a larger leadership role in the region and effectively respond to security concerns and humanitarian relief operations. The US envoy said Air India's purchase of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft would be a significant boost for US jobs and exports and the Indian aviation sector.

'The fuel-efficient Dreamliners are a key component of Air India's restructuring plan as India positions itself to become a global aviation hub,' she said.
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