March 2, 2017 2:37:28 pm
The government is expected to soon announce relaxations in the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy in certain sectors, including single brand retail. The further liberalisation in the FDI policy is aimed at providing better business environment by removing impediments, an official said.
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The easing of the policy will be on the lines of the announcements made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget for 2017-18. The government last year relaxed FDI norms in over a dozen sectors, including defence, civil aviation, construction and development, private security agencies, real estate and news broadcasting.
Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal recently stated that the government will consider the demands made by foreign retailers for allowing non-food items such as homecare products under the policy. The government is also considering a proposal to increase FDI limit in print media to 49 per cent from 26 per cent.
Besides, a proposal to allow 100 per cent FDI through the automatic route in single brand retail is also under consideration with a view to attracting more global players in the sector. Foreign investments are considered crucial for India, which needs around USD 1 trillion to overhaul its infrastructure such as ports, airports and highways to boost growth.
Foreign investments will help improve the country’s balance of payments situation and strengthen the value of the rupee against global currencies, especially the US dollar. FDI inflows into India firmed up by 22 per cent to USD 35.85 billion during April-December 2016.
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