Sharma promises policy consensus

Sharma promises policy consensus

“In a democracy, decisions may take time, but every decision is backed by strong national consensus. No policy initiative we have taken in the last two decades has ever been reversed or questioned by successive governments,” Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said at the ‘Emerging Markets Summit, 2009’ organised by The Economist magazine.

Contrary to the global trend of a sharp decline in foreign direct investment, India’s FDI inflows in July this year increased by 56 per cent to $3.51 billion, marking return of confidence of global investors in the country.

Sharma said the country has weathered the global economic crisis much better than most countries, adding “India today is one of the most attractive destinations for investment.” Sharma reaffirmed India’s commitment to enhance global engagement and hoped that the WTO talks to put in place a rule-based multilateral trading regime would be successful. He, however, said there is a growing tendency to raise new barriers and any kind of protectionism, particularly by major economies, would delay the world economic recovery.

Sharma also made a strong case for restructuring the World Bank, the IMF and the UN Security Council to make them more representative. Noting that there are 5 billion people who are outside the system, Sharma said the Security Council has no representative from Africa, Latin America and the largest democracy, India.

Participating in the panel discussion on ‘Riding the elephant: doing business in India’, Lord Meghnad Desai said there was tremendous growth potential in rural areas and small towns in India. A representative of Arcelor Mittal said the company is proud to be part of India’s growth process.