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Govt radically liberalizes FDI regime with the objective of providing major impetus to employment & job creation
India now the most open economy in the world for FDI; most sectors under automatic approval route
In two years, Govt brings major FDI policy reforms in several key sectors
India records highest ever FDI inflows at US$ 55.46 billion in financial year 2015-16
India rated as Number 1 FDI investment destination by several international agencies
Now 100% FDI under Govt approval route for trading, including e-commerce for food products manufactured or produced in India
Amendments in FDI policy to promote ease of doing business
Liberalisation of FDI regime –Now more inflows to contribute to growth of investment, incomes and employment

The Union Government has radically liberalized the FDI regime today, with the objective of providing major impetus to employment and job creation in India. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. This is the second major reform after the last radical changes announced in November 2015.  Now most of the sectors would be under automatic approval route, except a small negative list. With these changes, India is now the most open economy in the world for FDI.

            In last two years, Government has brought major FDI policy reforms in a number of sectors viz. Defence, Construction Development, Insurance, Pension Sector, Broadcasting Sector, Tea, Coffee, Rubber, Cardamom, Palm Oil Tree and Olive Oil Tree Plantations, Single Brand Retail Trading, Manufacturing Sector, Limited Liability Partnerships, Civil Aviation, Credit Information Companies, Satellites- establishment/operation and Asset Reconstruction Companies. Measures undertaken by the Government have resulted in increased FDI inflows at US$ 55.46 billion in financial year 2015-16, as against US$ 36.04 billion during the financial year 2013-14. This is the highest ever FDI inflow for a particular financial year. However, it is felt that the country has potential to attract far more foreign investment which can be achieved by further liberalizing and simplifying the FDI regime.  India today has been rated as Number 1 FDI Investment Destination by several International Agencies.

Accordingly the Government has decided to introduce a number of amendments in the FDI Policy. Changes introduced in the policy include increase in sectoral caps, bringing more activities under automatic route and easing of conditionalities for foreign investment. These amendments seek to further simplify the regulations governing FDI in the country and make India an attractive destination for foreign investors.  Details of these changes are given in the following paragraphs:

  1. Radical Changes for promoting Food Products manufactured/produced in India

It has now been decided to permit 100% FDI under government approval route for trading, including through e-commerce, in respect of food products manufactured or produced in India.

  1. Foreign Investment in Defence Sector up to 100%

Present FDI regime permits 49% FDI participation in the equity of a company under automatic route.  FDI above 49% is permitted through Government approval on case to case basis, wherever it is likely to result in access to modern and ‘state-of-art’ technology in the country. In this regard, the following changes have inter-alia been brought in the FDI policy on this sector:

  1. Foreign investment beyond 49% has now been permitted through government approval route, in cases resulting in access to modern technology in the country or for other reasons to be recorded.  The condition of access to ‘state-of-art’ technology in the country has been done away with.
  2. FDI limit for defence sector has also been made applicable to Manufacturing of Small Arms and Ammunitions covered under Arms Act 1959.

 

  1. Review of Entry Routes in Broadcasting Carriage Services

FDI policy on Broadcasting carriage services has also been amended. New sectoral caps and entry routes are as under:

Sector/Activity

New Cap and Route

5.2.7.1.1

(1)Teleports(setting up of up-linking HUBs/Teleports);

(2)Direct to Home (DTH);

(3)Cable Networks (Multi System operators (MSOs) operating at National or State or District level and undertaking upgradation of networks towards digitalization and addressability);

(4)Mobile TV;

(5)Headend-in-the Sky Broadcasting Service(HITS)

100%

 

Automatic

5.2.7.1.2 Cable Networks (Other MSOs not undertaking upgradation of networks towards digitalization and addressability and Local Cable Operators (LCOs))

Infusion of fresh foreign investment, beyond 49% in a company not seeking license/permission from sectoral Ministry, resulting in change in the ownership pattern or transfer of stake by existing investor to new foreign investor, will require FIPB approval 

  1. Pharmaceutical

The extant FDI policy on pharmaceutical sector provides for 100% FDI under automatic route in greenfield pharma and FDI up to 100% under government approval in brownfield pharma. With the objective of promoting the development of this sector, it has been decided to permit up to 74% FDI under automatic route in brownfield pharmaceuticals and government approval route beyond 74% will continue.

  1. Civil Aviation Sector

(i)  The extant FDI policy on Airports permits 100% FDI under automatic route in Greenfield Projects and 74% FDI in Brownfield Projects under automatic route. FDI beyond 74% for Brownfield Projects is under government route.

(ii)   With a view to aid in modernization of the existing airports to establish a high standard and help ease the pressure on the existing airports, it has been decided to permit 100% FDI under automatic route in Brownfield Airport projects.

(iii) As per the present FDI policy, foreign investment up to 49% is allowed under automatic route in Scheduled Air Transport Service/ Domestic Scheduled Passenger Airline and regional Air Transport Service. It has now been decided to raise this limit to 100%, with FDI up to 49% permitted under automatic route and FDI beyond 49% through Government approval. For NRIs, 100% FDI will continue to be allowed under automatic route. However, foreign airlines would continue to be allowed to invest in capital of Indian companies operating scheduled and  non-scheduled air-transport services up to the limit of 49% of their paid up capital and subject to the laid down conditions in the existing policy.

  1. Private Security Agencies

The extant policy permits 49% FDI under government approval route in Private Security Agencies. FDI up to 49% is now permitted under automatic route in this sector and FDI beyond 49% and up to 74% would be permitted with government approval route.

  1. Establishment of branch office, liaison office or project office

For establishment of branch office, liaison office or project office or any other place of business in India if the principal business of the applicant is Defence, Telecom, Private Security or Information and Broadcasting, it has been decided that approval of Reserve Bank of India or separate security clearance would not be required in cases where FIPB approval or license/permission by the concerned Ministry/Regulator has already been granted. 

  1. Animal Husbandry

As per FDI Policy 2016, FDI in Animal Husbandry (including breeding of dogs), Pisciculture, Aquaculture and Apiculture is allowed 100% under Automatic Route under controlled conditions. It has been decided to do away with this requirement of ‘controlled conditions’ for FDI in these activities.

  1. Single Brand Retail Trading

It has now been decided to relax local sourcing norms up to three years and a relaxed sourcing regime for another five years for entities undertaking Single Brand Retail Trading of products having ‘state-of-art’ and ‘cutting edge’ technology.

Today’s amendments to the FDI Policy are meant to liberalise and simplify the FDI policy so as to provide ease of doing business in the country leading to larger FDI inflows contributing to growth of investment, incomes and employment.

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Prime Minister addresses the education community to mark the first anniversary of National Education Policy 2020
July 29, 2021
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Launches multiple key initiatives to mark the occasion
NEP is a big factor in the  ‘mahayagya’ of national development: PM
New Education Policy, assures our youth that the country is fully with them and their aspirations: PM
Openness and absence of pressure,key features in the New Education Policy: PM
14 engineering colleges of 8 states are starting to impart education in 5 Indian languages: PM
Mother tongue as the medium of instruction will instil confidence in the students from poor, rural and tribal background: PM

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed policy makers in the domain of education and skill development, students and teachers, across the country via video conferencing, to mark the completion of one year of reforms under the National Education Policy 2020. He also launched multiple initiatives in the education sector.

Congratulating the countrymen and students for New Education Policy completing one year, the Prime Minister lauded the hard work of teachers, professors, policymakers in realizing the New education policy on the ground, even during the difficult time of Covid-19.  Noting the significance of the year ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the Prime Minister said that the new Education Policy will play a major role in this important period. The Prime Minister said our future progress and growth is dependent on the level of education and direction given to our youth today. “I believe that is one of the bigger factors in ‘mahayagya’ of national development”, said the Prime Minister

The Prime Minister noted the changes brought by the pandemic and how normal online education became for the students. More than 23 hundred crore hits on Diksha portal bear testimony to the utility of portals like Diksha and Swayam. 

The Prime Minister noted the strides made by the youth from small towns. He cited great performance at the Tokyo Olympics by the youth from such towns. He lauded the efforts of the youth in the fields of robotics, AI, start-ups and their leadership in industry 4.0. He said if the younger generation gets the environment suitable for their dreams, there is no limit to their growth. He stressed that today’s youth wants to decide their systems and their world on their own terms. They need exposure and freedom from the shackles and restrictions.  New Education Policy, assures our youth that the country is fully with them and their aspirations. Artificial Intelligence programme which was launched today will make the student future oriented and will pave the way for AI-driven economy. Similarly, National Digital Education Architecture, (NDEAR) and National Education Technology Forum (NETF) will go a long way in providing a digital and technological framework to the entire country, the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister highlighted the openness and absence of pressure in the New Education Policy. He said that there is an openness at policy level and openness is also visible in the options available to the students.  Options like multiple entry and exit will free students from the restrictions of staying in one class and one course. Similarly, modern technology based Academic Bank of Credit system will bring revolutionary change. This will give confidence to the student in choosing stream and subjects. 'Structured Assessment for Analyzing Learning levels', SAFAL will take away the fear of examination. The Prime Minister reiterated that these new programmes have the capability to change India’s destiny.

Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, the Prime Minister emphasized the importance of local languages as medium of instructions. The Prime Minister informed that14 engineering colleges of 8 states are starting to impart education in 5 Indian languages Hindi, Tamil, Telugu. Marathi and Bangla. A tool has been developed for translating engineering course in 11 languages.  This emphasis on mother tongue as the medium of instruction will instil confidence in the students from poor, rural and tribal background. Even in the elementary education mother tongue is being promoted and Vidya Praveshprogamme, launched today, will play a big role in that. He also informed that Indian sign language, for the first time, has been accorded the status of language subject. Students will be able to study it as language also. There are more than 3 lakh student who need sign language for their education. This will give a boost to Indian sign language and will help the divyang people, said the Prime Minister.

Underlining the critical role of teachers, the Prime Minister informed that from the formulation stage to implementation, teachers are active part of New Education Policy. NISHTHA 2.0, launched today will provide training to teachers as per their needs and they will be able to give their suggestions to the department.

Prime Minister launched the Academic Bank of Credit that will provide multiple entry and exit options for students in Higher education; 1st Year Engineering Programmes in Regional Languages and Guidelines for Internationalization of Higher Education. The initiatives to be launched also included Vidya Pravesh, a three month play based school preparation module for Grade 1 students; Indian Sign Language as a Subject at secondary level; NISHTHA 2.0, an integrated programme of teacher training designed by NCERT; SAFAL (Structured Assessment For Analyzing Learning Levels), a competency based assessment framework for Grades 3, 5 and 8 in CBSE schools; and a website dedicated to  Artificial Intelligence. The event also witnessed the launch of National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR) and National Education Technology Forum (NETF).