India's ace industrialist Niranjan Hiranandani has claimed that the protests against the newly enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) have not impacted India's image as an investment destination.
"I don't agree that the protests against the citizenship law have impacted the country's image as an investment destination. Global investors are talking about India very positively. They are bullish about India," said Hiranandani, the president of industry association Assocham and managing director of Hiranandani Group, India's major real estate company.
He said he had recently talked to three fund managers, including global asset management fund Brookfield, and they were positive about India's prospects. "Brookfield invested $19 billion in 2019, and they are planning to increase their investments in India."
The country's macroeconomic numbers do not reflect that confidence though.
India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Growth witnessed a 26-month low of 4.5 per cent in the second quarter (July-September) of the 2019-20 financial year. It stood at five per cent in the previous three months (April-June). It's a steep decline compared with the 7 per cent growth recorded in the same period in 2018.
Going forward, India's GDP will remain muted in the financial year 2019-20, as per government data. The Indian government has lowered the growth forecast for the current fiscal year to 5 per cent from earlier estimates of 7 per cent.
Over the last few weeks, protests against the newly created Citizenship law (CAA) raged across cities. They turned violent in many parts of the country, causing clashes, vandalism, and the death of over 25 people. The Act has been slammed by protesters who alleged it was discriminatory against Muslim immigrants - something the government denied.
The law (CAA) grants citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian immigrants fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
Indian Home Minister Amit Shah, however, has clarified that no citizen of India has to fear the new law or the NRC.