Don’t go by perceptions, come and see: Finance minister to investors in US – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Launching a scathing attack on the negative western “perceptions being built” about India, finance minister Nirmala Sithraman has said the Muslim population in India has been growing since Independence and the country has the second-largest Muslim population in the world while in Pakistan religious minorities have been decimated.
“Those talking about perception should know that Muslim population in India has not dwindled between 2014 and 2023,” said the FM while taking part in a discussion.
Sitharaman, who is in Washington for the IMF-World Bank spring meetings, said foreign investments have kept coming to India and urged investors to come and see what’s happening on the ground as she rejected perceptions being built by people who had not seen the changes taking place in the country.
“I would tell the prospective investors to come and look at what’s happening in India rather than listen to perceptions being built by people who have not visited the ground but (are) writing reports,” Sitharaman said while responding to questions during a discussion at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
She said that given the shocks witnessed due to supply chain disruptions, MNCs have become prudent and are diversifying and added that India is poised for a more important role in the global value chains. “India is attractive because of its skilled youth and large domestic market,” the FM said.
Sitharaman said India’s growth is sustainable as it attempts to grow its manufacturing sector and not import products that the country can manufacture. The FM said catering to the domestic markets became attractive due to the phased manufacturing programme.
“India needs to have resilient value chains. We came up with a PLI scheme so that those supply chains can thrive in domestic markets as well as international markets. We have incentivised production so goods produced in India are consumed in India as well as exported to other countries,” said the FM.
Sitharaman said cryptocurrencies are a very important part of the discussions under India’s G20 presidency, given so many collapses and shocks in cryptocurrencies. “We seek to develop a common framework for all countries to deal with the matter,” said the FM. She said that India is carrying forward the agendas of earlier G20 presidencies, bringing issues on the table that India considers important and also making way for the future G20 presidencies to build upon the legacy of India’s G20 presidency.
The FM met top industrialists and held bilateral discussions with senior US officials including treasury secretary Janet Yellen. She said that in a world full of post-pandemic challenges, India offers policy certainty, skilled manpower and high digital tech adoption rate, resulting in a host of opportunities for investment going forward.
Watch Nirmala Sitharaman on ‘violence against Muslims’: ‘Come to India to see the ground realities’

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