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Reforms could be faster, feels US envoy

Our Bureau  |  Kolkata 

George N Sibley, the US Consul General in Kolkata, feels the pace of India's reforms process could be better.
Speaking at an interactive session organised by the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BNCCI), he said that while reforms was happening, the process was slow.
One concern was sanctity of contractual agreements. He said, some of the US investors were wary about contractual agreements being honoured in India.
He also said that the overall indirect tax system was also complex and the limits in foreign direct investment (FDI) should be raised, especially for the insurance and telecommunication sectors. Intellectual property rights and laws protecting them was mentioned.
Lastly, he said, rejuvenation of government's privatisation programme would act as a positive signal for possible US investors.
Speaking specifically about Kolkata he said that while the state was mending its ways, labour relations and infrastructure needs still required some attention. He however added, the reality was much better than the perception about the city.
S K Chakraborty, president BNCCI said, Indo-US trade from DGCIS showed that during 2002-03 the Indian exports to US stood at Rs 52,730 crore, growing by 29.87 per cent from its previous year whereas, the US exports to India rose to Rs 21,505 crore by 43.16 per cent from its preceding year.

First Published: Tue, February 10 2004. 00:00 IST