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Jaitley woos Singapore for Rs 40k cr in infra fund

by August 27, 2016 General

NEW DELHI: In a move to boost infrastructure spending, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley sought investments from Singapore in the Rs 40,000 crore National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), a fund created for financing the sector, at a meeting with Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Friday.

According to the sources, investments were also sought in areas like infrastructure and manufacturing. However, Jaitley focused on agriculture and social sectors.The government is to contribute Rs 20,000 crore to the fund and the remaining Rs 20,000 crore is expected to be raised through sovereign wealth funds.

Delivering the keynote address of NITI Aayog’s first Transforming India Lecture, Shanmugaratnam said, India has a hugely “unfulfilled potential” and is uniquely positioned to “recast the global narrative”, requiring 8-10 per cent growth rate over 20 years so as to reduce the per capita income gap with the likes of China.

Calling for bold economic reforms, he said, “India has to move with urgency to achieve its potential. 8-10 per cent growth rate is not a luxury, it will merely get India about 70 per cent of per capita income of China in 20 years.”

“India needs to grow at 8-10 per cent if it is to create jobs for the youth, reduce under-employment and achieve inclusive growth including significant shift of people from low level income group to middle income group which is what China has achieved,” said Shanmugaratnam.

Stressing on the need for India to develop an export-oriented outlook, he cited example of companies like Sun Pharma. He noted that the way production is being organised in the world– the global value chains– there is a deep interaction between exports and imports in every production process and domestic supply as well. “But the big difference between high exports and high imports is the discipline of dynamism, the content learning which comes with interacting with the world and it is a learning where India will not just be a follower, but has the potential to be a leader in many fields,” he added.