As India gears up to elect its new Prime Minister, with two contenders slugging it out in the Lok Sabha Elections in the form of BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi and Congress scion Rahul Gandhi, the United States-India Business Council has come out with a comprehensive wish list, which if implemented, would help in achieving the goal of a bilateral trade of USD 500 billion per year.
The comprehensive action plan among other things includes a demand to resolve the outstanding issues related to the civil nuclear deal, to increase foreign direct investment in the defence sector, e-commerce and insurance and to encourage a level-playing field to global companies in financial sector.
The USIBC calls for legislation and implementation of the plan that provides certainty in India's international tax treaties and investment structures.
Reiterating its call to opening of India's multi-brand retail sector to support closer linkages between farmers and markets, the USIBC said it would advocate for a fair, transparent and streamlined bidding process in the infrastructure sector.
"Derived from USIBC's 300 member-companies, both Indian and American, including 250 of the largest US companies investing in India, this 'Way Forward Agenda 2014-2015' presents the many issues we all need to focus on to deepen the two-way partnership between our dynamic commercial sectors," USIBC president Ron Somers said.
The listing is comprehensive, but is also intended to be calibrated as constructive progress is achieved, he said.
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"The facts are that as two-way trade between our economies deepens (now at USD 100 billion, setting a 'stretch-goal of achieving USD 500 billion before the decade is out), the issues are becoming more granular and complex...but now enjoy a momentum destined to deepen collaboration. That's the exciting narrative of the US-India growth story," Somers said.
Increasing foreign direct investment cap from 26 per cent to 74 per cent would spur greater investment and technology transfer by American defence companies, which would increase opportunities for coproduction, joint manufacturing, and industrial partnerships with Indian industry, the USIBC said.
It also urges India to sign long-pending "enabler agreements" and support India's membership in the multilateral export control regimes to enable a more advanced and robust bilateral defence trade relationship.
Urging the government abolition of the "5 year, 20 aircraft rule," to allow low