"Modi govt created favourable atmosphere"

RSTV Bureau

pranab_presidentPresident Pranab Mukherjee had some words of praise for the new Indian government on Tuesday as he credited it for not only initiating steps to bring the economy on a better path but also for creating a “favourable” atmosphere for India across the globe.

The President, who abandoned his written speech for an extempore talk during the Indian community reception in this historic city of Vietnam, also lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for accomplishing a wonderful trip to Japan from where, he said, hopes of substantial Foreign Direct Investment are expected to be ploughed into India in the future.

“After the new government (led by Modi) came out with a massive mandate they also worked out . . . of course, it is too early to formulate cogent policies for the full five years and get it reflected in the plan document and other documents but the first budget presented by the new government outlines some of the crucial policies and there is substantially continuity and there is change (in policy) where it has been found necessary to do it”, he said.

“One very positive aspect is that there is possibility of substantial FDI which was an important outcome of the Prime Minister’s visit to Japan. And it is expected that in the next five years, investment from Japan would be around USD 25-35 billion.”

Mukherjee, who himself has headed the Finance Ministry before becoming the head of the state, said the Indian economy has been doing well and is expected to do better.

“Indian economy, no doubt, is doing well after the financial crisis and after that we had some teething problems and also certain problems over which the domestic policies do not have complete control . . . . As a result, though we maintained our GDP growth at a reasonably high level after the crisis year of 2008-09 which was 6.5 per cent and certainly come down from around 9 per cent has come down from 9.3 per cent in 2007-08, but we improved in 2010-11 and 2011-12 – 8.5 per cent and 8.9 per cent”, he said.

“But again it slipped down for two consecutive years and in the last year it was around 5 per cent. Rate of inflation also became relatively high.”

Highlighting the developments of his current trip, Mukherjee said amongst the seven pacts signed between the two countries some are “very significant.”

One is about the procurement of defence equipment (where an MoU has been signed), the second is the direct flight between Mumbai and Ho Chi Minh City through Jet Airways operating its aircraft from the first week of November and opening of new blocks to OVL from the Vietnam government, he said.

“These are of much significance,” he said on a day China specifically opposed the ONGC Videsh Limited and Petro Vietnam future exploration deal.