Anand Sharma calls for greater US investment in India

"If you are engaged with us, trust us. We're working on creating more changes in the FDI (foreign direct investment) regime to create hope and confidence among investors," commerce and industry ministry Anand Sharma said while speaking at the 'US-Indian Economic Opportunities and Synergy Summit' in Chicago

Chicago: India's minister of commerce and industry Anand Sharma on Tuesday called for greater US investment in India, saying his country was the best and safest place for investments, reports PTI.

Mr Sharma was speaking at the 'US-Indian Economic Opportunities and Synergy Summit' jointly organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and The Executives' Club of Chicago.

The centennial summit of the Executive Club of Chicago was held at the Fairmont Hotel here Tuesday in collaboration with the Chicago Council of Global Affairs and the Delhi Committee of Chicago Sister Cities.

"If you are engaged with us, trust us. We are a rule-based country with appropriate legal recourse," Mr Sharma said.

"We're working on creating more changes in the FDI (foreign direct investment) regime to create hope and confidence among investors," Mr Sharma added.

Mr Sharma said that India was poised to grow at 8.5%-9% with its investor and FDI-friendly regime.

He also said India was ready to embark on a second Green Revolution.

Mr Sharma said he was looking forward to discuss the next trade policy with US Trade Representative Ron Kirk in Washington DC.

Mr Sharma noted that India was now positioned at number two after China in the global manufacturing competitiveness index in a new Deloitte report.

"India's rich talent pool of scientists, researchers and engineers, as well as its large, well-educated English-speaking workforce and democratic regime make it an attractive destination for manufacturers," the report said.

"Because of the speed and magnitude of change over the past two decades, China's role as a manufacturing superpower has been solidified. China's dedication to investments in science and technology coupled with a relatively low-cost base that is geographically mutable led to China taking the top spot in manufacturing competitiveness," the report added.

Meanwhile, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel delivered the opening remarks at the summit and asked for more cooperation between India and Chicago.

Mr Emanuel proposed a trade mission to India.

Indian ambassador to the United States Nirupama Rao and the consul general of India in Chicago, Mukta Dutta Tomar, were also present.


A page from Manmohan Singh’s dateless diary

The PM’s daily jottings—full of doom, despair and dyspepsia

"Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace...
   ...It's a tale told by an idiot, full
Of sound and fury, signifying nothing"
     —Macbeth, Shakespeare


Ah William, Bill the Bard, Bill the Bald, Master Shakespeare, genus genius-you wrote five hundred years ago and yet how beautifully you describe the state of my mind.

Everything is dark. Inflation; an economy beginning to downslide; stock markets plunging like the necklines of third-rate actresses; Anna Hazare; an angry middle class. And an heir to the throne—the less said about him, the better.

Corruption everywhere; cases in court, monstrous avarice coupled with the intelligence quotient of the classical village idiot; the wanton and senseless destruction of Air India, one of India's iconic assets.

The 2G scam was the worst. Why, for Heaven's sake why, did those lowbrows choose to meddle in an area which could have yielded one lakh seventy five thousand crores to the exchequer? We could have wiped out a large part of the national debt, cleaned up the Budget so that it does not look like a bankrupt's balance sheet, reduced deficits and still have had quite a bit left over for rural development and employment.

But no. These fellows had to meddle to make a few thousand crores of black money. And they did not have the intelligence to cover up their tracks; they had to leave wide-open trails that even the CAG could follow.

There is a new corruption scandal erupting every day. And it looks as if everybody in government and Parliament and the Assemblies will have to wear the noose of the Jan Lokpal around the neck forever.

I wish I could be like Amma Jayalalithaa. She is arresting people by the dozen for land-grabbing and other economic crimes. But I can't do that either. She is arresting her political opponents; I have to arrest my own party-men and alliance partners!

No, no, this is becoming too much. I am a gentle man who never interfered with what my fellow man was doing. I assumed that everyone is as honest as I am.

I want to quote Woody Allen: "God is dead; Marx is dead and I am not feeling too good either". (Or was it graffiti in a New York subway?). And the Ayurvedic kashayam (potion) doesn't help either. I want to quit; the whole beggar's breakfast of a political situation was not of my making, anyway.

Got to meet Soniaji Amma Madam, now that she is back from Sloan Kettering or wherever she went.


Back from meeting Soniaji Amma Madam. Not a very good session. She looked pale, wan and tired. I asked her about her trip abroad. She made a cryptic statement: "I have made all the necessary arrangements." For what, I asked. She twisted her face into what she thought was an enigmatic Mona Lisa smile.

She agreed the political situation was tough. Everybody in the UPA was feathering his nest—and what huge nests they were. "We should not have allowed it. Something has to be done."

I asked her whether she wanted me to resign. "What!" she screamed, "and leave my son in the cesspool?"

"No, no," I said. "I have not been feeling well recently. The pressure and stress of the job are taking their toll. I don't think I will live very long."

"Manmohanji," she said sternly. "This kind of talk will get us nowhere. Look at my family. See how much we have sacrificed. We have always been ready to die for our country."

"But, Madam Soniaji, I prefer to live for my country."

(R Vijayaraghavan has been a professional journalist for more than four decades, specialising in finance, business and politics. He conceived and helped to launch Business Line, the financial daily of The Hindu group. He can be contacted at [email protected]).



Sankar Ray

5 years ago

Very good piece. But the soliloqy from Macbeth should have been fully quoted.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Nagesh Kini FCA

5 years ago

Right Mr. Vijayraghavan, the Bard must be turning in his grave, India's in deed is a tale told by an idiot, no better.
As Oliver Cromwell told the Rump Parliament, it is time for the UPA 2 to be told in no uncertain terms,"In the name of God, Go." Now with the FM and HM at loggerheads it is time the PM puts in his papers. To give Sibal Society top grades in the merit listing tells it all.
In the name of God, Go ASAP!

Sachin Purohit

5 years ago

This was too good. I liked the part about Madame G where in she made a cryptic statement: "I have made all the necessary arrangements."

Govt to set up online system by Dec to check illegal mining

The development comes in the wake of an alarming increase in illegal mining in various states. The government has recorded 24,405 cases of illegal mining in January-March 2011, almost 30% of the cases in the entire 2010

New Delhi: In a step aimed at curbing illegal mining, the government on Tuesday said it will put in place an online system by December which will register all mineral-related transactions in the country, reports PTI.

The development comes in the wake of an alarming increase in illegal mining in various states. The government has recorded 24,405 cases of illegal mining in January-March 2011, almost 30% of the cases in the entire 2010.

“We are going to introduce an end-to-end accounting system by the end of this year for all mineral transactions including mining, selling, transportation and export by miners, traders and exporters. This will check illegal mining,” mines secretary S Vijay Kumar told PTI.

Under the online system, registration of miners, traders and exporters of major minerals like iron ore, lime and bauxite will be a must, Mr Vijay Kumar, who chaired a high-level meeting of senior central and state government officials to expedite mineral concessions and check illegal mining, said.

The registration will be done under the Mineral Conservation Development Rules (MCDR) by amending it.

At present, there are not enough legal provisions for the central intervention in illegal mining in states, but the magnitude of the problem is so high that as many as 82,330 cases were detected in 2010, almost double the 41,578 cases unearthed in 2009.

The Central Coordination-cum-Empowered Committee (CEC) in its meeting yesterday also decided that the government will use satellite imagery to curb the menace.

States have been asked to curb illegal mining by improving monitoring of the mineral system through empowered committees and district level task forces and plugging loopholes in the royalty collection system.

The committee also reviewed the position regarding various important aspects of the mineral concession regime in the country, and stressed the need for bringing about more efficiency and transparency in the system.

The meeting was attended by representatives from ministries of environment and forests, defence, home affairs, steel, civil aviation, railway, shipping and finance. Officials from the Indian Bureau of Mines and Geological Survey of India also participated in the meeting.

Representatives of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu were also present.


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