US asks India to resolve land acquisition, FDI issues

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New Delhi, April 28: The US on Tuesday asked India to resolve land acquisition and foreign direct investment issues so as to attract funds for infrastructure and smart city projects.

"Land acquisition, foreign direct investment and other questions still remain unresolved," US ambassador Richard Verma said here addressing the annual general meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce.

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"The expectation of large amounts of private sector finance, either domestic or foreign will be a challenge. These concerns mean many projects may not be commercially viable at the outset," he added.

"Right now we are very much in the nascent stage of finding ways forward with India on smart cities issues. We do not have clarity on financing for the many projects that need to be done," he added.

Pointing to how India-US bilateral trade had quintupled in 15 years to cross the $100 billion mark last year, Verma said the US is ready to work with India to increase the trade to $500 billion.

"If we achieve this goal sometime in the next several years, our economic relationship will be 25 times larger than it was just fifteen years ago. Right now, US and Indian ventures create over a million jobs in India and tens of thousands in the US," he said.

Verma also said that both countries had recently agreed to expand the highly successful US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy.

The expansion includes support for turning Visakhapatnam, Ajmer, and Allahabad not only into smart cities, but into "smart energy cities", he said.

IANS

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