Chairman & CEO of American conglomerate GE , Jeff Immelt, on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘s reform programmes need to be executed better and faster to attract foreign investors.
“As time goes on, we see great opportunities for a market of this size. We want it to be easier to do business with,” Immelt said during an interaction with journalists in the Capital.
Immelt, who met the Prime Minister earlier in the day, said, “We believe that Prime Minister Modi’s vision is the right vision and what we expect is just execution better execution, more execution, faster execution.”
Stating that Modi’s vision for the country makes it much ‘more investible’, he said: “I think it allows us to think of the country long term.”
Reiterating that overseas investors are observing ‘symbols’ of real changes happening in India, Immelt said in his 33 years of association with GE and frequent trips to India this was the first time he actually felt things were really happening on the ground.
“This is, kind of, may be the fifth time, I personally have been on Indian rail modernisation programme. I am an old hand on bidding for projects, this is the first time I actually think it is going to take place. So I view that is a giant symbol to the outside world to say there is real progress…There are big symbols outside investors are looking for where progress is made,” he said.
Referring to the power sector where GE sees a huge potential, Immelt said he would like to see reforms happening.
“At some point in time there has to be less subsidisation of local electricity prices in India… have to go to more market pricing. That’s going to allow reinvestment, that’s going to allow more production,” Immelt remarked.
He also pointed out the need to reduce bureaucracy and “put aside the practice of 17 stamps on government documents in this digital age.”
Sharing views with Indian business leaders who expressed concerns over lack of pace in reforms, Immelt said it is good that people agitate for the reforms to be fast. “I think that is great, and we should and I should but added one should also look back to realise how far the country has moved forward.” “There is no perfect environment anywhere. I just would like to see the reforms that Modi has started, which I think is absolutely in the right direction, to continue to evolve and change, Immelt said.