Corporate America, Media Hail India's 'Big Bang' Reforms

Washington, Sep 15 (IANS): Corporate America and the US media have hailed India's big bang economic reforms as a welcome signal to investors and a dramatic push to reverse the nation's economic decline.

New Delhi's "courageous resolve to move on these complex reforms" opening the door to foreign investment in retail, aviation, broadcast and power exchanges "serves as an assurance to investors that its economic liberalisation agenda is back on track,' said the US-India Business Council (USIBC).

The reforms "are a welcome signal to investors everywhere," said Ajay Banga, chairman of the trade body made up of about 400 top US and a score Indian companies interested in boosting trade with India.

"Government's bold actions (that) will help create a predictable investment and business climate," added Banga, who is president & CEO of MasterCard Worldwide calling it "a win-win for everyone."

"These big bang reforms send a crystal clear signal that India is open for business." said Ron Somers, President of USIBC.

The influential New York Times reporting on India's "biggest economic reforms in two decades" noted the "central government, led by the Congress Party, is under heavy pressure to kick-start India's slowing economy, boost employment and improve the country's shambolic infrastructure."

"Bringing in big foreign brands, like Walmart which can now open stores in India in partnership with a local company, is expected to help," it said.

The Washington Post said the changes opening the door to foreign investment in retail, aviation, broadcast and power exchanges "are the biggest and arguably toughest economic reforms since Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took over in 2004."

"Analysts have been pleading with the government to institute what has come to be called the second wave of reforms in the past eight years," it noted.

Calling the reforms "a dramatic push to reverse the nation's economic decline and boost capital flows from overseas," The Wall Street Journal said "resistance to the measures is likely to be fierce, and even if they stick, foreign investment won't necessarily flood in."

"Still, the steps have the potential to open the door significantly wider for foreign companies looking to capitalise on India's vast consumer market," it added saying for Manmohan Singh, "the burst of activity is a big political gamble."


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Title: Corporate America, Media Hail India's 'Big Bang' Reforms

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