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October 09, 2012

Senior US Official Welcomes India's Economic Reforms

by VOA News

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has welcomed India's decision to pursue reforms aimed at stimulating the country's lagging economy.

He said in New Delhi Tuesday the reforms are "very promising" and will help provide a platform for stronger economic growth.

"India has achieved remarkable economic success in the last 15 years and the recent reforms advanced by Prime Minister (( Manmohan )) Singh and the finance minister will help provide a foundation for stronger economic growth, stronger growth in private investment and more widespread gains in income," Geithner said.

Geithner made his remarks following talks with his Indian counterpart, P. Chidambaram.

The reforms announced in recent weeks include allowing foreign supermarket chains to set up shop in India, and opening up the aviation and broadcasting sectors to greater foreign investment.

India's Cabinet last week also moved to further open up the country's insurance and pension sectors to foreign investment, measures that still need to be approved by parliament and have drawn criticism from the opposition and some ruling coalition allies.

Critics say the reforms will hurt India's small business owners and the poor.

Earlier this year, U.S. officials voiced concern about declining opportunities in India for foreign investment.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.