In a recent interview with the Press Trust of India, the US President has shown his reservations about the "deteriorating investment climate" in India.
The President has said that India restricted foreign investments into its economy in “too many sectors”, a comment that was not received well by anyone in India.
India has been showing impressive growth numbers, even during the global financial crisis, but was able to record just 5.3% growth rate for the first quarter of the current year while inflation and slower than average industrial production are one of the primary challenges for the country. The US President has said that "there appears to be a growing consensus in India that the time may be right for another wave of economic reforms to make India more competitive in the global economy".
The Indian Corporate Minister Veerappa Moily, has said that Mr. Obama wasn’t “properly informed" and his judgment was based on misinformation being deliberately spread by “international lobbies”. Commenting further on what the minister meant by “international lobbies”, Mr. Moily said, “Certain international lobbies like Vodafone are spreading this kind of a story” He further insisted that the world need not worry about his country’s economic climate as “its economic fundamentals are strong,"
US President was referring to the massive Indian retail sector which so far, has not been easily accessible to foreign investors. The opposition leader BJP’s Yashwant Sinha has said, “If Mr Obama wants FDI in retail and India does not want, then it won't come just because he is demanding it," The Communist Party leader Nilotpal Basu has said, “Americans are talking about further opening of our retail sector so that they can come and make profit,"
BJP vice president Mukhtar A. Naqvi believes that with the current sluggish growth rate of the US economy, Mr. Obama is not in a position to criticize India. Calling Mr. Obama’s comments “laughable” Mr. Naqvi said, “[United States] is giving us a certificate on investment and economy when it itself is facing economic problems.” Mr. Moily also gave similar comments when he pointed out that "Not even a single financial institution has collapsed in this country, whereas many such things have collapsed in US and other countries,"
India limits FDI in too many areas: Obama [Indian Express]