By Times of India / Press Trust of India

NEW DELHI: Asserting that policy decision is the “sovereign” right of the country, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma on Monday said the Barack Obama administration should itself lead fight against protectionism and trade barriers.

In his reaction to the US President’s remarks that India must carry out difficult economic reforms, Sharma said, “He (Obama) has every right to convey what his perceptions are but the policy making is a sovereign decision and India’s FDI policy regime is investor-friendly”.

Obama in an interview to PTI noted that India prohibits foreign investment in too many sectors such as retail and endorsed another wave of economic reforms.

“It is still too hard to invest in India. In too many sectors, such as retail, India limits or prohibits the foreign investment…which is necessary for India to continue to grow,” Obama has said.

Citing different reports, Sharma said India remains one of the attractive destinations for foreign direct investment as most of the sectors are open for FDI. “…by all indications it is the regime, the climate that we have created in India through various policy measures, reforms, simplification, rationalisation. We have followed a calibrated approach in following the path of economic reforms,” he told reporters here.

Besides, several Indian companies have made big investments abroad including in the US creating over half a million jobs in America at a time of job losses there.

“We would rather urge the US to demonstrate leadership in bringing down barriers, encouraging capital flows and trade in the world which is good for every economy. The US should be leading the fight against protectionism and taking forward the stalled Doha Development Round of the WTO to a meaningful conclusion,” he added.

Indian industry and the government has been protesting against several protectionist measures in the US including hike in visa fee which has affected India’s software companies like Infosys and TCS.