What is stopping India Inc. from investing, asks Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi
: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday asked India Inc., what was stopping them from investing at a time foreign direct investors, foreign portfolio investors and domestic retail investors are showing confidence in India.

“If it is not sort of impertinent to say this now, I equally would want to know from the Indian industry what it is that they are hesitant about…. Since 2019, when I have taken charge of the finance ministry I have been hearing—the industry doesn’t think it is conducive (for investments). ‘Alright, bring the rate down’; the tax rate was brought down…. ‘Give production linked incentive’ (PLI)—we have given PLI. I want to hear from the India Inc. Sitharaman asked business leaders at the Mindmine Summit 2022 held in the national capital.

In a bid to boost manufacturing, and in turn self reliance, the Indian government last year rolled out Production-Linked Incentive scheme with a massive outlay of about 2 trillion for 14 sectors, including automobiles and auto components, white goods, textiles.

“When countries and industries abroad think this is the place to be in now–at this time, foreign direct investment is coming, foreign portfolio investors are coming, the stock market is so confident and Indian retail investors believe in them,” she said and asked if it was a case of lack of self-belief on the part of Indian industry.

The Union government has been urging the private sector to boost investment, having stepped-up its own capital expenditure as an example, to help economic recovery.

The minister assured that policy measures taken to support businesses are not an end in themselves and that they would continue to evolve.

The finance ministry has been laying emphasis on stepping up capital expenditure and providing long-term loans to states to step up their spending in the hope of crowding in private investments, which could help accelerate economic recovery.

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