Jaitley wants Indo-U.S. Trade on Firmer Footing, Hardsells National Infrastructure Fund


Jaitley, on his part, expressed India’s interest in increasing the bilateral trade and said most concerns between the two countries have been either resolved or narrowed down to a large extent. CEOs of various Indian companies are in constant dialogue with their U.S. counterparts for increased trade and investment among the two, he said.

The Indo-U.S. trade stood at $109 billion last year. Going further, Jaitley said the GST Bill was passed by both Houses of Parliament unanimously earlier this month. He said eight states have already approved the Bill and hoped that the remaining will follow suit and the desired number of state ratifications can come in early next month. Jaitley also spoke of the creation of the NIIF in which various US-based insurance, pension and endowment funds can invest, especially in the infrastructure sector that has great potential in India.The government had set up the Rs 40,000-crore NIIF in December as an investment vehicle for funding commercially viable greenfield, brownfield and stalled projects. It was envisioned as a mother fund with several sectoral feeder funds.

The government is to contribute Rs 20,000 crore to the fund and the remaining Rs 20,000 crore is expected to be raised through sovereign wealth funds. Pritzker is on a 3-day visit to India to preside over the Indo-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.

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