51 pc FDI in multi-brand retail fantastic: Billimoria

London: Leading Non-resident Indian(NRI) entrepreneur Lord Karan Bilimoria has described the decision of the Indian government to allow 51 per cent foreign direct investment(FDI) in the multi-brand retail sector as "fantastic".

"It is going to be fantastic," Lord Bilimoria said while speaking at the second annual `Financing Infrastructure in India` conference here Friday evening.

Lord Bilimoria, who is also the President of the India-UK Business Council, hoped there would be more liberalisation in the higher education and airlines sectors as well. "India is doing reforms the right way. India is going to be much more stronger in the years to come," he said.

Speaking at the conference, Department of Economic Affairs Secretary R Gopalan said there is a "need for the private sector to get into the field of infrastructure", creating competition in the sector.
"From the government`s side, we will explore more possibilities of addressing infrastructure deficits," he said.

Gajendra Haldea, Advisor to Planning Commission of India Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, said, "India is on the move. We have created necessary regulatory framework. The Finance Ministry and Planning Commission are working together." "Our regulatory frameworks are appreciated by foreign investors. We have created a fairly transparent environment (in a) simple and fair manner. Bidding is done in a transparent manner," he added.

He suggested that if the Western countries invested pension funds in developing countries, they would yield better returns for pensioners. Acting High Commissioner Rajesh Prasad also spoke at the conference, organised jointly by the High Commission of India, London and City of London.