In a bid to boost up investment and speed growth GOI has eased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms for 15 sectors which includes defence, broadcasting, construction, retail trade, agriculture, mining and banking.
- The government’s decision to lift overseas investment ceilings for these sectors is an apparent move to turn India into a preferred destination for foreign investors.
- Foreign investments > Rs.5, 000 crore in specified sectors need to approach the foreign investment promotion board for approval i.e. higher than the previous cap of Rs.3, 000 crore.
Sectors Having Eased FDI Norms
- Single Brand Entities – Govt relaxed norms for single-brand entities that require state-of-the-art technology that could help companies such as Apple Inc. to manufacture in India.
- News Broadcasting – Foreign investment ceiling ↑ to 49% from 26% and 100% in non-news broadcasting.
- Defence sector – Govt allowed foreign investment up to 49% under the automatic route i.e. without prior government approval. Any foreign investment > 49% or an investment that results in change of ownership will need government approval.
- Limited liability partnerships (LLPs) – 100% FDI has been allowed under the automatic route.
- Manufacturing Sector – Companies permitted to sell their products through the wholesale channel and retail routes including the e-commerce channel without needing any government approval.
- Private Banks – FII or FPI can invest up to the sectoral cap of 74%, provided that there is no change in management and control.
- Construction Sector – Govt has removed the restriction of a minimum floor area of 20,000 sq. m in construction development projects and minimum capitalization of $5 million to be brought in within the period of six months of the commencement of business.
- Other sectors – FDI has been increased to 100% from 74% include non-scheduled air transport service, ground handling services, credit information companies, plantation sector, coffee, rubber, cardamom, palm oil and olive oil.