The current economic crisis being faced by India is a temporary phase and the country still remains the fastest growing economy in the world, and a favourable investment destination, Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday. India has its huge population and skilled manpower to its advantage, and countries should look at investing in micro, small and medium enterprises, (MSMEs), infrastructure sectors, which promise “very good returns, Gadkari, who is also India’s MSME minister, said at the US India Business Council annual summit on Tuesday.
Gadkari added that the government was determined to increase its exports and reduce imports, with rural, backward and tribal areas at the centre of its focus. “Presently, (there are) problems we are facing, but this is a temporary phase. I am condent that we are going to win the war against Covid-19. At the same time we are going to win the economic war,” Gadkari said. “India is the fastest growing economy, we have got huge potential and denitely we will convert all these problems into opportunity,” he added.
Gadkari said that US-based companies should look at forming joint ventures with Indian companies, besides providing them technological support. Sectors like MSME, roads, railways, waterways and airways, oer huge potential for investment, he said. Gadkari also oered to “cooperate” with US companies if they wish to invest in India. “We are a big market, (with) skilled manpower. Our software engineers are the best in the world. Our priority is now to promote agro-msme, forest msme, food processing industries,” he added.
Gadkari said that as the highways minister for the country, his department was not facing any shortage of economic resources, and is looking to award road projects worth Rs 15 lakh crore over the next two years. He added that the National Highway Authority of India under the highways ministry was a AAA-rated company. “My balance sheet is very strong. I am getting too much money from Indian bankers, LIC and others. I don’t have any problem. That is why I am making so many road projects,” he said. “So this is an opportunity,” Gadkari added.