Modi’s US tour ‘impactful’, step towards realisation of national goals: Sitharaman

New Delhi: Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US tour “impactful” and said the bilateral decisions taken during his visit have established steps towards greater realisation of national goals.

Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters here, she also hailed the prime minister’s visit to Egypt and said President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi conferring the ‘Order of the Nile’, Egypt’s highest honour, on Modi was a “proud moment for India”.

With this, the prime minister has received the highest civilian awards from 13 countries, six of them with the highest Muslim population, she added.

The prime minister’s visit attained quite a high prominence in Egypt, she told reporters.

Highlighting the key takeaways from the prime minister’s US visit, Sitharaman said both India and the United States have taken each other “warmly” and “established such steps” which would help in “greater realisation of our national goals”.

Hailing Modi’s address to the joint session of the US Congress and Senate as “very significant”, she said the prime minister receiving standing ovations during his speech was “a matter of pride for all of us in the country”.

“It was a very significant event for our prime minister having been invited to address the joint session of the US Congress for the second time. It was a bipartisan invitation to address the joint house,” she said.

“During his speech, the prime minister expressed very clearly where India and the US relationship stands and what is it that it can do towards global order,” she said.

The finance minister said implementation of the agreement signed between India and the US on semiconductor supply chains will result in creation of more than 5,000 new direct jobs and also 15,000 indirect jobs in the country.

“Micron Technology is likely to invest USD 800 million towards 2.75 billion semiconductor assembly and test facility in Gujarat,” she said.

“We are also becoming part of an alliance of rare earths and materials and in this, it is expected to support more than 2 billion planned investments,” she added.

Setting up of centres for the semiconductors, commercialisation and innovation in Bengaluru is expected to support more than 2 billion planned investments, 500 new advanced engineering jobs and potential another 2,500 jobs in the manufacturing ecosystem, she noted.

“This is a very big step forward,” she added.

The minister further said the department of atomic energy also had a share in the agreements signed between India and the US during the prime minister’s visit to that country.

“GE-Aerospace, the biggest of aeronautics companies, signed an agreement with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for joint production of F 414 aircraft engines which will be made in India and 80 per cent of the technology will transferred (to India),” she said.

“I highlighted this because it is HAL about which repeatedly the opposition sheds crocodile tears,” she said and asked them to “understand” the outcome of the HAL’s joint production agreement with the GE.

“These made-in-India engines will be used for HAL’s own Tejas aircraft,” she added.