India must aspire to be top recipient of FDI: Prasad
New Delhi: India must aspire to be the largest FDI recipient globally and "has everything going for it", given its vibrant digital profile, huge market and investor-friendly policies to woo foreign companies, including Apple, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Tuesday.
Prasad, who is the Minister for Electronics and IT as also Communications, said rapid pace of economic development, India's rising clout globally and citizen-centric digital transformation initiatives are "irreversible".
Sending a strong signal to potential investors, Prasad said the government remains "accessible and open", as he instructed officers to have an investor-friendly attitude in dealing with companies. Given the recent announcements on tax relief for manufacturing, India has the same tax regime as Vietnam and Thailand. "If any foreign investor is not given a good treatment by my officers, I will not like it. If I hear a complaint...I want my team to be open and accessible because we need investments," the minister said. Prasad said India has become the 5th largest economy globally.
"If this is the level of India's maturity in economic development surely why we should be ninth biggest recipient of FDI...in my view, India must be the top most centre for FDI... is how I see it. This is the goal and we all need to work in that direction," the minister said addressing 'Invest Digicom 2019'.
He also said, "India has everything going for it".
Prasad said FDI has seen a jump over the last few years and grossed $64 billion in FY19. Telecom sector attracted FDI worth $2.67 billion, while electronics, computer software and hardware together witnessed $6.4 billion. Foreign direct investment (FDI) equity inflows stood at $16.3 billion in the first quarter of 2019-20 against $12.7 billion in the year-ago period.
India has been leveraging technology not just for benefits to economy and commerce but also digital empowerment. The country today has a digitally thriving ecosystem for commerce, he added. India's stance that right of internet access is "non-negotiable" has been a position that was acknowledged globally, Prasad said, adding India's firm standpoint against Facebook's Free Basics did not hamper its FDI due to the strength of its thriving