India's growth rate likely to cross 8 percent: Venkaiah Naidu

India's economy is back on track and the country's growth rate is likely to cross eight per cent in the coming years, Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu has said as he asked US investors to take advantage of the current business-friendly atmosphere.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 02, 2015, 14:26 PM IST

 Washington: India's economy is back on track and the country's growth rate is likely to cross eight per cent in the coming years, Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu has said as he asked US investors to take advantage of the current business-friendly atmosphere.

 "Public life in India is undergoing a rapid transformation. The economy is back on track, inflation is under control, and growth rate is likely to cross eight per cent in the coming years," Naidu, 66, said in his interaction with the American industry leaders at a round table organised by the US India Business Council (USIBC) yesterday.

 Naidu, who is currently on a five-day non-official visit to the US, said the reforms undertaken by the current Indian Government have a human face as social security schemes and affordable housing programmes are being launched.

 He also asked investors to take advantage of the business friendly atmosphere in the country, inviting further cooperation in Smart Cities and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) projects, a USIBC statement said.

 Noting that India has prioritised the creation of 100 smart cities - which will incorporate the use of solar energy, rain water harvesting, good sanitation, drinking water and smart public transportation - Naidu explained the recent guidelines for selection of the cities, financing mechanisms and incentives for private sector participation.

 "American enterprise is eager to participate and deepen its commercial dialogue through the 100 Smart Cities initiative launched by Prime Minister Modi and led by Minister Naidu," said Purna Saggurti, Chairman of Global Corporate and Investment Banking at Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and a member of USIBC's Board of Directors.

 "In his role as Parliamentarian, investors are confident that under Minister Naidu's leadership the monsoon session of the Parliament will continue progress toward economic and regulatory reforms that are key to India's economic progress," he said.

 Expressing optimism in Naidu's vision, USIBC President Mukesh Aghi said, "Flagship programmes such as Smart Cities, AMRUT and Housing for All reflect the Indian government's dedication to innovation and technology while not overlooking the urgent need to provide all citizens with access to basic necessities such as sanitation, water, power and means to earning a livelihood".

 He said the reforms in taxation and land acquisition remained central to the success of these schemes.

 "There are immense opportunities for innovation in India's digital space. Smart cities will be the transformation India has been waiting for. Healthcare is at the nexus of this new digital economy that can expand the reach of quality care," said Sreedhar Potarazu, CEO of Vital Springs.