US Senator hails reformist budget of Modi Government

Tags: News
A top American Senator has hailed several provisions in the maiden budget of the new Indian Government saying it reflected the willingness of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tackle some of the regulations that have stifled foreign investment in India.

"I am extremely pleased by Prime Minister Modi's willingness to tackle some of the regulations that have stifled foreign investment in the Indian economy," Senator Mark Warner, Co-Chair of the Senate Indian Caucus said.

"With the election of Prime Minister Modi, we have an opportunity to refresh the US-India relationship and work cooperatively to make progress that will benefit both of our countries. This budget is a very productive step in the process," he said.

He praised the budget which includes several provisions for the US and Indian governments such as raising limits on foreign investment.

"I have been working with the Indian government for years to encourage them to lift the caps on foreign investment, as well as to increase opportunities for American firms to bid on Indian infrastructure projects," he said.

Warner had laid out a 100-day plan prior to the beginning of Modi's new Government that included his recommendations for both the US and Indian governments.

"I am glad that the new Indian Administration has incorporated many of my recommendations into its budget, demonstrating Prime Minister Modi's commitment to grow the US-India relationship," he said.

He said the recommendations that were reflected in the Indian budget included increasing foreign direct investment in the defence sector from 26 per cent to 49 per cent; increasing FDI in the insurance sector from 26 per cent to 49 per cent and launching new infrastructure projects, which provide opportunities for US companies to participate.

These actions add to several other "First 100 Day Plan" recommendations that have been adopted in the last few weeks, he said.

Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel has selected Frank Kendall as Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics to lead the US efforts for the Defence Trade and Technology Initiative.

A top level US delegation will travel to Delhi to participate in a US-India Strategic Dialogue.

Other provisions in India's budget that Warner has advocated for include a review of Indian tax regimes, which had levied unexpected taxes on foreign firms and a commitment to invest in technology, warehousing and bureaucratic restructuring to improve farm-to-market

in India.

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