Washington, July 11: Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram has defended Indian policies as growth oriented as he invited American companies to establish manufacturing plants in India during his meetings with the industry leaders and lawmakers of the US.
Chidambaram, who is here on a four-day US trip to attend the annual leadership summit of US-India Business Council, urged the leaders of the US corporate sector for substantial investments in India as he emphasised on the need for US companies to set up local manufacturing bases in India, saying "it is in the mutual interest of both countries for India to become a large manufacturing economy".
CEOs and senior leaders of companies like Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) raised the issues of transfer pricing and the impact of the Comprehensive Immigration Bill, recently passed by the US Senate. The companies were appreciative of the measures taken to address concerns relating to Transfer Pricing.
Chidambaram apprised these executives of the recommendations of the Arvind Mayaram Committee on enhancing FDI caps in many sectors, and the steps being taken to implement the recommendations. Chidambaram also underscored Indian concerns about the provisions in the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill relating to skilled non-immigrant visas.
In his meeting with the Senator Baucus, Chidambaram mentioned that while some concerns have been expressed about the current business environment in India, the policies adopted by the Government are "pro-growth and WTO compliant". Chidambaram stressed that New Delhi is committed to ensure a transparent, fair and non-discriminatory investment environment for foreign investors seeking to do business in India.
Chidambaram is expected to deliver the key note address to the annual leadership summit of the US India Business Council today. Before flying back tomorrow, he is expected to meet his counterpart, jack Lew. Chidambaram's visit to Washington comes at a time when there is an increasing disenchantment with Indian policies.
In the last few weeks, more than 250 US lawmakers have written to Secretary of State, John Kerry and US President, Barack Obama, expressing their concerns over the Indian policies, which they allege are discriminatory and do not provide a level playing field to the US companies.
Two Congressional committees recently held hearing on Indian policies and lawmakers and representatives of corporate sector sought Obama Administration's intervention with regard to Indian economic policies.