Date
30 May 2017
Narendra Modi has announced FDI reforms after his party suffered an embarrassing defeat in a key state election. Photo: Reuters
Narendra Modi has announced FDI reforms after his party suffered an embarrassing defeat in a key state election. Photo: Reuters

India eases foreign investment rules in several sectors

India has eased foreign investment norms for 15 sectors, including construction, mining and retail trade, in a bid to attract more capital from overseas and boost the nation’s growth.

The move came two days after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered a humiliating defeat in a key state election, dealing a heavy blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image. 

Among the initiatives announced Tuesday, overseas investors will be allowed to exit and repatriate construction sector investments even before project completion.

Meanwhile, restrictions have been eased on local-sourcing requirements for international retailers looking to set up shop in the country.

Within defense manufacturing, firms can automatically increase foreign ownership to 49 percent, without seeking government approval.

Foreign investment limits for direct-to-home and cable network companies were lifted to 100 percent from 74 percent, while coffee, rubber, cardamom and palm oil businesses were also opened to full foreign ownership

The government, meanwhile, allowed the Foreign Investment Promotion Board to give single window clearance for investment projects of up to 50 billion rupees (US$753.35 million), Reuters reported.

Earlier, the agency had such power only for projects worth up to 30 billion rupees.

“The crux of these reforms is to further ease, rationalize and simplify the process of foreign investments into the country and to put more and more FDI proposals on the automatic route,” the government said in a statement.

The move came as Prime Minister Modi seeks to regain the political initiative after his BJP was trounced in the Bihar state election, whose results were announced on Sunday.

“We have liberalized India as much as possible,” the Wall Street Journal quoted Amitabh Kant, an official charged with leading Modi’s “Make in India” campaign, as saying.

“These have been the most progressive set of decisions.”

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