Modi invites Singapore firms to invest in Navratna PSUs

Singapore,November 24: India Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday invited investors here to participate in the proposed divestment of Navratna PSUs and sought the Singaporean government's help in building at least 20 smart cities

In wide-ranging discussions with Singapore leaders, including its Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Tony Tan Keng, Modi stressed on the idea to 'create many Singapores' within India.

He also pitched for issuance of rupee bonds and infrastructure bonds in Singapore

Besides, Modi sought faster completion of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to create a new economic block within Asia

The Prime Minister also invited his Singaporean counterpart to visit India, especially Gujarat to see with his entire family the Asiatic lion, which forms part of the symbol of Singapore

Singapore sought doubling of flights to India while Modi wanted the city-state to play a key role in upgradation of railway stations in India

Secretary (East) at the Ministry of External Affairs Anil Wadhwa said there were broadly 14-15 key issues including skills development, urban development, tourism, civil aviation and financial services, that were discussed in the meetings the Prime Minister has had here.

"The disinvestment of Navratna PSUs also was discussed and Modi invited Singapore companies to take part in the disinvestment of these companies," he said.

India is looking at selling stakes in Public Sector Undertakings to raise around Rs 70,000 crore in the current fiscal. PSUs are classified into three categories - Maharatna, Navratna and Miniratna - mainly based on financial criteria to give them greater operational autonomy.

Wadhwa further said: "The talks covered a wide range of areas including defence and services, culture, economic cooperation and financial services. Singapore also returned a statue of Uma Parmeshwari, which belonged to India." 

According to him, Prime Minister said that if 'Make in India' is to succeed then skills upgradation is very important.

"Prime Minister also said that Singapore can contribute a lot in urban development in India. The government has announced plans to build 100 smart cities and Singapore can work on building at least 20 of them," he said. 

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