NEW DELHI -- Ahead of a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama in January, the Indian government announced Wednesday that it had formed a panel to fast-track investment proposals from U.S.-based companies, and to help U.S. investors conduct business smoothly in the country.
The panel "will identify bottlenecks faced by the US investors in the implementation of their investment proposals and address them in consultation with all other agencies and state governments concerned," according to the release. The move by the Indian government comes just weeks after the two countries ended an impasse on agriculture trade issues at the World Trade Organization, and follows assurances of reforms by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to American businesses during his recent trip to the U.S.
The panel will be headed by India's industries secretary and comprise of top officials from ministries such as finance, environment, highways, railways, defense, telecom, information technology, civil aviation, energy and pharmaceutical, according to a government release. The ministerial group will further identify areas of concern in these sectors that are of interest to U.S. companies, and ensure that foreign firms are given "handholding services."
The panel will take steps to create an "attractive business environment and ease of business for companies to invest in all sectors and manufacturing, in particular," according to the statement, and promote investments in manufacturing, with a special focus on "green, advanced and smart technologies by US companies in India ... making Indian manufacturing a significant player in the global supply chain."