Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday claimed that India is now the fastest growing economy in the world and presents the most fertile ground for investments while speaking at the inauguration of the multi modal manufacturing plant of GE in Pune on Saturday.
“Due to the various steps taken by the government global perception about India as an investment destination is good. Our government will work on the dual principles of clarity and predictability which will attract more investments,” he said. Modi also said that the greatest advantage the country has is it’s demographic dividend with 65 per cent of the population below the age of 35.
The prime minister said the government is easing the permissions necessary to start and conduct business in India. He said that the government has turned its attention to the hospitality sector and will work to simplify the process of granting permissions. “At present more than 110 permissions are necessary to start a hotel which often leads to delays. We will be working to reduce the number of permissions to 20 so that this sector can also grow,” he said. Talking about the defence sector he said the government has allowed 49 per cent FDI in defence. He urged GE to invest in defence technology as well as ship building. Pune according to Modi has the right potential to become a hub of defence manufacturing.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on his part said that the state government is also doing its bit to make the state more investment friendly. “During my trip to Davos I had talks with companies like Cognizant, Schindler and they will be further investing in the country. The plant of Schindler was ready for operations but some river regulation zone policies had prevented it from being operational. We changed the regulation to bring it at par with the national one and the plant will commence operation soon,” he said .
On his part John Rice vice chairman GE said the company would soon be going for phase II at the Chakan facility. The facility which is spread over 68 acres of land will see a cumulative investment of $200 million with the first phase attracting around $120 million investment. The facility will allow for the manufacturing of diverse sets of products catering to GE’ businesses. The second phase will see manufacturing of components pertaining to aviation oil and gas and renewable energy sector. At present the plant employs 450 people which is scheduled to go up to 1500 after the second phase.