President for more conducive investment policies

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New Delhi, Feb 21 (PTI) With decline in FDI inflows, thegovernment today said it needs to work on reform-friendlypolicies to attract increased overseas investment in thecountry.

"We have to strive to make the domestic environment moreconducive to investment, encouraging public as well as privateinvestment and domestic as well as foreign investment,particularly foreign direct investment," President PratibhaPatil said in her address to Parliament.

During April-December of the current fiscal, FDI inflowsdeclined by 23 per cent to USD 16.03 billion from USD 20.87billion in the year ago period.

While Government has taken preliminary steps likeinitiating discussions on allowing FDI into multi-brand retailand increasing the cap on overseas equity in defenceproduction, but the decisions remain pending for long.

Global retail chains like Wal-Mart, Tesco and Metro,which have been allowed in the wholesale cash and carrybusiness, are lobbying hard with the government to open FDI inmultibrand retail.

"We have to maintain the momentum for reforms on a widefront," Patil said.

She said although the Indian economy is on a high growthtrajectory, still there is no room for complacency.

"The policies followed to handle the global financialmeltdown stand vindicated. However, there is no room forcomplacency," Patil added.

Reforms in insurance sector is also on the agenda andthe Bill relating to this is pending in Parliament.

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