India offers golden opportunity; best destination for investment: Gadkari

Terming India as the best destination for foreign investment with high returns, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday urged investors including from the US to reap rich dividends by investing in its infrastructure, MSMEs, banks, NBFCs and other areas.

Referring to Covid-19 pandemic as a temporary phase, the Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Minister said the country was confident of winning the economic war and the government has taken a number of steps to overcome the crisis.

"It is golden opportunity for you to invest in airports, roads, MSME, railways, waterways and other sectors...There is a huge potential for investment. Returns are very good as compared to USA. I feel Indian situation is good," the minister said addressing the 'India Ideas Summit' by US India Business Council and US Chamber of Commerce.

The minister said that economic consultants have predicted budget deficit of Rs 10 trillion and the foreign direct investment is the need of the hour for pumping in liquidity into the market.

"It is an opportunity for people like you to invest in MSMEs. You will get very good returns...NHAI is another good opportunity. You can invest in seaplanes as there is much potential in the country," the minister said.

"India has strength. It has big market, skilled manpower and is focussing on increasing exports and reducing imports," the minster said.
He said a plan was on the anvil for assigning ratings to the MSMEs which will facilitate investment in it and added that MSME accounted for 48 per cent of the exports and has created 11 crore jobs.

"Eradicating poverty is the most important agenda for us. To uplift the economy we need to create more jobs," he said.

Urging players to invest in the highways sector, the minister said that 22 green expressways were on the anvil and work has already started on seven of these.

Rs 1 trillion Delhi-Mumbai express highway on a new alignment will be completed in three years span, the minister said and added that these projects offered huge investment opportunities.

Besides, he said plans are afoot to take Rs 1 trillion blue economy to Rs 6 trillion with initiatives like exports of seafood. Also, he said that the government is planning to bring a policy for micro finance of Rs 10 lakh.

"Covid-19 is a temporary phase, all things will be changed. India's future is good. There are economically viable options for you," he told the investors and added that he was confident that a vaccine for the virus will be out soon.

"We are waiting for vaccine. Indian scientists are trying their best to get the vaccine....We have faced many problems...We will overcome this. Now there is need to create positivity in the mind of people. India is among the fastest growing economies," he said.

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