Washington: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made “remarkable” progress in his first 15 months in office by rolling out a red carpet for foreign companies, but the infamous red tape in India continues to pose hurdles to investments, the White House has said.
“You can say that,” Peter R Lavoy, special assistant to US President and senior director for South Asian affairs at the National Security Council said when asked if his assessment of the Modi government means that both red carpet and red tape are running parallel to each other. “I have never seen any Indian government made such quick progress on so many issues, in such a short time,” Lavoy added.
“Your bureaucracy has a certain worldwide reputation. It has its own standards that are unparalleled worldwide. Even though India continues to make this progress, we are confident that as entirety whole of the government recognizes their opportunities to move much more quickly to achieve the potential and vision of the PM,” he said replying to questions on new government’s policies. Lavoy also said the India-US relationship after Modi assuming the post of the Prime Minister is in an excellent position.
“This is by far the strongest the relationship has ever been. Both sides see a very bright future where we see a deep opening and expansion of bilateral cooperation to solve regional and international problems,” he said.
Lavoy, who joined the National Security Council early this year, is the White House’s pointsperson for entire of South Asia, including Afghanistan and Pakistan. The wide ranging interview, on various issues of India-US ties, policies of the NDA government and India’s role in the region and the world was held in the historic War Room of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House.
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Lavoy also praised the Modi government’s outreach to its neighbours to resolve outstanding bilateral and border issues, mentioning in particular the recent resolution of the border dispute with Bangladesh. “We still have a situation where we have unresolved border disputes between India and few of its neighbours. Fortunately India has resolved its dispute with Bangladesh that was a very sudden development. But it still has tensions with China and Pakistan. If you look at the overall regional situation, there are a lot of positive trends, but there are still some challenges that need to be worked out,” he said.