India Can Lead Globally By Improving Manufacture: Jaitley

NEW DELHI: At a time of protectionist trends in the developed world, India can become the leading proponent of globalisation only if the country improves on its manufacturing, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday.

"On whether we can lead the process of globalisation, if for three years in a row we can be among the fastest growing economies in the world...on services we are among the leaders," Jaitley said, while addressing the annual session of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

"But the question is, can we improve our manufacturing?" he asked.

As a measure of the de-industrialisation of India in course for quite some time, the contribution of manufacturing has shrunk to around 15-16 pct of GDP. Through various measures, the government is trying to increase this share to around 25 pct.

The Finance Minister said that India has been a big beneficiary of globalisation in the way of foreign investment, especially at a time when private domestic investment has been sluggish.

As per official data, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into India in 2016, jumped 18 per cent to a record $46.4 billion, at a time when global FDI inflows fell.

Moreover, investments by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) into Indian equities and bonds in March hit highest in about 15 years. Overseas investors bought $8.84 billion worth of Indian shares and bonds during March, in the biggest monthly inflow since 2002.

In this connection, Jaitley also mentioned that the government would soon wind up the inter-ministerial Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) that approves investment proposals.

"We are in the final stages of doing away with the FIPB...90 pct of FDI is anyway now allowed through the 'automatic route'," the minister added.

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Source: IANS