Washington: US companies consider India their next FDI frontier and are keen to pump in billions of dollars into the country’s infrastructure and transportation sector, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said.
“There is overwhelming enthusiasm among American companies and investors to invest in India. Results could be seen soon,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari told PTI as he concluded his week-long trip to the US that took him to Washington, New York, St Louis, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Acknowledging that India’s infrastructure sector is lagging behind and it has a long way to go to match the international standards, Mr Gadkari said that the modernisation and upgradation of the transport infrastructure has the potential to become driver of the country’s growth.
Now that the Modi Government has taken several steps to facilitate smooth and hassle-free foreign direct investment in the infrastructure sector, Mr Gadkari said based on his interaction and meetings in the US he is confident that billions of dollars would soon start flowing into India.
Mr Gadkari said in addition to construction of a road network across the country, the ambitious Sagarmala project along with promoting use of green fuel and clean energy vehicles would create a large number of jobs in the country and provided an unprecedented boost to the Indian economy.
During his week-long trip, Mr Gadkari held a series of productive interactions with investment bankers, fund managers and captains of trade and industry in infrastructure sector.
These meetings, he noted, helped in dispelled apprehensions with regard to bottlenecks and red-tape in the Indian government.
“Prime Minister Modi has made the infrastructure development top-most priority of his government, I told them,” he said, adding that the US companies now consider India their next frontier of foreign direct investment.
“The Prime Minister remains committed to improving the country’s road, highways, and port connectivity in a time-bound, result-oriented, corruption-free and transparent manner through e-governance and fast-tracking decision-making process,” he said.
“I am returning home fully satisfied with his visit which has broken new grounds in the bilateral ties between India and the US and given the much needed impetus to cooperation in the field of infrastructure, particularly road transport, highways and shipping sectors,” Mr Gadkari said. In his talks with the US Transportation Secretary
Anthony Foxx, he sought cooperation in sharing intelligent traffic systems and transfer of technology in road engineering, use of IT in reducing road accidents, centrally controlled traffic light surveillance systems for road safety.
During his visit to Tesla, Mr Gadkari asked it to make India their Asia manufacturing hub and offered land near major Indian ports to facilitate export of their vehicles to South and South East Asian countries.
Mr Gadkari said India is committed to encouraging alternate pollution free transport in the country by providing incentives to bio-fuel, CNG, Ethanol and electric vehicles.