New Delhi, Mar 31 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh has said that the party will speed up foreign investment projects in India if it wins the general election, with business hit by red tape, land protests and lack of government help.
"Earlier in 2000-2001, when we were in power, and there were signs of recession, we did not allow Indian economy to get affected by it. We had invested so heavily in the mega projects that the global economic meltdown could not affect Indian economy in a large extent. So in future as well, if we come into power, we will push heavy investments in mega projects, so that we save India from the effects of recession," Singh said in an interview, referring to these projects in eastern India.
Singh said that the ruling government lacks will power, direction and an interest to see what is best for India and as a result many projects in the east have stalled.
Some of India's biggest investments projects, including a 12-billion dollars steel plant by South Korea's POSCO and an alumina refinery by Britain's Vedanta Resources Plc, have been held up for years due to protests and legal wrangles.
Indian companies have also suffered. Tata Motors Ltd was forced to move its factory to build the Nano car.
The measure is part of the BJP's election manifesto to be unveiled this week as the party and its' allies battle against the Congress Government weeks before general election.
While its manifesto is yet to be released, Singh said the BJP would be more open to foreign investment than Congress, which was unable to pass major economic reforms and open the economy further up globally due to opposition from leftist allies.
Singh said his party would also focus on agriculture, putting more money in the pockets of farmers. More than half of India's 1.1 billion population live in villages.
"In this country, a large population who are producers, are involved in agriculture profession. We would like to increase the purchasing capacity of farmers. They are the biggest consumers and producers. We would like to see them grow," said Singh.
When in power, the BJP commissioned an 8-billion dollars highways project. It also promoted privatisation.
Since its 2004 election win, Congress has put privatisation on hold, and highways have been hampered by a lack of finance.
In theory, the BJP should do well in the election, given a slowing economy that has claimed millions of jobs and security worries highlighted by the Mumbai attacks in November. (ANI)