Sunday, 21 January, 2018

FDI policy liberalised, 100% FDI now in retail, construction

Air India A320 Air India A320 Rob Finlayson
Conrad Doyle | 13 January, 2018, 04:27

The move to allow foreign investment in Air India comes at a time when the government is working on the modalities for strategic disinvestment of the loss- making Air India and is expected to attract more bidders for the airline.

Expressing strong resentment on the government's decisions of easing FDI investments, Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) co-convener Ashwani Mahajan said, the organisation, "firmly believes that easing the norms for FDI in SBRT would go against the best interest of the country".

"Allowing 100 per cent FDI in single-brand retail trade will further increase the hardship of traditional retail trade sector which is the second biggest livelihood giver after agriculture and expedite the ruin of the traditional retail trade sector", Sen said.

As some critics have pointed out, the automatic approval of 100% FDI in single-brand retail comes with new caveats to replace existing ones and which will not be easy to meet for most companies.

Currently, the policy provides for 49 percent FDI under automatic route in power exchanges.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet approved a proposal to allow foreign airlines to take up to a 49% stake in national carrier Air India, which New Delhi wants to privatize.

The government has allowed investment of about 49% on Air India, ahead of the union budget 2018-19. However, foreign investors' purchases were restricted to the secondary market only.

With an eye on higher foreign inflows, the government has liberalised the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy in various sectors such as single-brand retail, real estate broking and civil aviation.

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to a number of amendments in the FDI Policy.

Relaxing a procedural requirement, the government said it has now been decided that for investments in automatic route sectors, requiring approval only on the matter of investment being from country of concern (that is Pakistan and Bangladesh), FDI applications would be processed by the DIPP for government nod.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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