Manmohan invites Japanese firms to invest in infrastructure projects

Tokyo: Observing that  infrastructure deficit was posing a major constraint to India’s growth, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on October 25 said an outlay of over $ 1 trillion was envisaged for infrastructure projects during the next five-year plan beginning 2012 and invited Japanese firms to play a greater role in this endeavor.

Dr. Singh said his government was determined to continue the economic reforms to create a favorable investment environment and facilitate higher capital inflows and push the reform of both direct and indirect taxes with the aim of unifying indirect taxes into a single Goods and Services Tax in due course.

Addressing a business luncheon attended by top business leaders from India and Japan, he noted that India’s growth, which fell to 6.5 percent in 2008-09 because of the global economic recession, recovered to 7.4 percent in 2009-10 and is projected to be 8.5 percent in 2010-11.

He hoped that India would return to 9 percent growth in 2011-12.

Dr. Singh said that India’s investment needs would be at least $1 trillion, part of which would come from within but “we expect Japanese companies to also provide their support.”

From India, Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director; Sunil Bharti Mittal, Bharti CMD; Fortis Chairman Malvinder Singh; and HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh were among those present at the luncheon.

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