New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday (November 15) chaired a meeting of chief ministers/finance ministers of states, via video conferencing on the subject of economic recovery post-COVID pandemic.

Briefing about the meeting, TV Somnathan, Finance Secretary had earlier said, “Growth had slowed down in the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, after the first quarter of the current fiscal, the economy has picked up again with green shoots of recovery clearly visible. Several economic indicators are now at pre-pandemic levels.

Projections of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank peg India`s GDP growth at about 9.5 per cent and 8.3 per cent respectively, as one of the fastest-growing economies.

“While the investor sentiment is good, there is a need to capitalise on the momentum already created. The first four months of FY 2021 have already witnessed inflows of USD 64 billion foreign direct investment (FDI).

The Government of India (GoI) in its Union Budget 2021-22 has given further impetus to the inflow of foreign investment capital through streamlining procedures, removing roadblocks and providing necessary incentives,” he added.

Somnathan further said the objective of the meeting is economic recovery.”India is becoming a thriving destination for foreign investors. These positive sentiments should be capitalized and the opportunity is to be utilised. To push India`s growth story towards the higher path, the states` role is important and is an essential component.

In this regard, Finance Minister is holding meetings with chief ministers on state-level issues. Challenges faced by the states will be discussed. Efforts will be made to resolve those issues that will help the country,” he added.

Ajay Seth, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) had also said that the finance minister seeks to embark on a collaborative growth vision for the nation and encourage an open exchange of ideas centred on enhancing the investment climate of the country.

“The envisaged interaction will attempt to create a policy discourse and a facilitative environment for inward investment-led growth.

This will be enabled by a pro-active approach to investment promotion, efficiencies brought about by Ease of Doing Business reforms, and an emphasis on accelerating approvals and clearances up to Urban Local Bodies (ULB) levels,” he said

The DEA Secretary further said through the interaction, the States may share their ideas and vision for enhancing the investment climate, leading to a broad consensus regarding the trajectory to be undertaken for India to become the fastest-growing economy.

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