The US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) hailed the Narendra Modi government’s move to allow 100 per cent foreign investment in coal mining and contract manufacturing, ease sourcing norms for single-brand retailers and allow online trade prior to opening of brick and mortar stores.
“We are delighted to see India’s efforts to further liberalise the economy and attract foreign investment in order to return to the high growth path,” said Mukesh Aghi, president of USISPF.
He said these efforts to create a level playing field for foreign investors by removing market access barriers will go a long way in buoying investor sentiment and revive manufacturing and job creation in India.
“Measures such as allowing FDI under automatic route in contract manufacturing and sale of coal, easing local sourcing norms for single-brand retail, allowing online trade prior to opening of brick and mortar stores are signs that the government is making serious attempts to bring India’s standards up to global norms to improve the overall doing business environment,” Aghi said.
Coming within a week of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiling a raft of measures to boost growth, the Union Cabinet liberalised foreign direct investment (FDI) rules in several sectors.
In the coal sector, now foreign players can invest 100 per cent for mining and sale of coal under automatic route. They will also be able to carry out other associated processing infrastructure related to the sector such as coal washery, crushing, coal handling, and separation (magnetic and non-magnetic).
In single-brand retail trading, the definition of 30 per cent local sourcing norm has been relaxed and online sales permitted without prior opening of brick and mortar stores.
Further, the government permitted 26 per cent overseas investments through approval route for uploading/ streaming of news and current affairs through digital media, on the lines of print media.