Govt to release final blueprint on big ticket FDI reform soon


The government has drawn a blueprint for attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country, even as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced big ticket FDI reforms in her maiden budget presented on Friday. ET Now has learnt that the FDI blueprint, aimed at opening sectors like Digital Media, Insurance, Information Utilities and Contract Manufacturing, is ready and will be sent to Cabinet in a few weeks time.

The government is looking at permitting 26 per cent or 49 per cent FDI under approval route for Uploading/Streaming of news & current affairs through digital media. “We are open to permitting FDI in digital media with some riders. Fake news is a serious issue,” said an officer in the know of the development. Currently the FDI policy allows only 49 per cent FDI in TV channels, 26 per cent in print media.

The government is also looking at opening 74 per cent FDI in insurance sector with government approval, while 100 per cent FDI for insurance intermediaries has already been approved.


“Insurance penetration is very low in India. More FDI will give it parity with other financial sectors like private banks. Insurance Intermediaries bring risk management solutions and practices which is good for the businesses and economy at large. Therefore, it is proposed to permit FDI upto 100 per cent in automatic route in Insurance intermediaries,” the official added.

Easier regulations for FDI in contract manufacturing to push make in India and 100 per cent FDI in Information Utilities is also being actively considered and DPIIT will move to seek stakeholders nod.

Meanwhile in what will come in as a big boost for companies like Apple, OnePlus, Oppo, the government is also going to remove the restriction of having physical brick and mortar stores. Local sourcing norms will also be eased.

In fact, Local sourcing will include global sourcing done from India by SBRT entity or its group companies, either directly or indirectly through a legally tenable agreement with a third party.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in his Budget speech said that India’s FDI inflows in 2018-19 grew by 6 per cent to $64.37 billion.

“I propose to further consolidate, the gains in order to make India more attractive FDI destination. The government will examine suggestions of further opening up of FDI in aviation, media, AVGC (Animation, Visual effects, Gaming and Comics) and insurance sector in consultation with stakeholders,” she said.

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