Govt clears 49% FDI in Air India

FDI policy liberalised, 100% FDI now in retail, construction

Regarding the decision of the government of allowing 100 per cent FDI in single-brand retail trade, the CITU-the trade union of the CPI (M) - condemned the move and said that the decision would increase the hardship of traditional retail market.

The decisions came ahead of Modis participation in World Economic Forum at Davos this month where he is likely to hard sell India as an attractive investment destination.

Moreover, they have also expressed strong resentment to Union Cabinet's decision to allow foreign investment up to 49% in Air India and other decisions about easing of norms for FDI and FIIs. These are meant to liberalise and simplify the FDI policy so as to provide ease of doing business in the country.

Opening up of FDI for real estate brokers will surely help the sector in India.

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Opposing the disinvestment of Air India, Mahajan said the finances of national airline are in deep trouble, but allowing foreign investment is not the best of the solutions for ending its troubles.

"This breakthrough will open up millions of new employment opportunities, a push to investment activity in the economy and expansion in economic growth trajectory in the coming times", he said.

In the case of medical devices, the government has permitted a wide range of items that can attract up to 100 per cent FDI via the automatic route.

Currently, the policy provides for 49 percent FDI under automatic route in power exchanges.

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However, FII/FPI (foreign portfolio investors) purchases were restricted to secondary market only.

This is the second time that the FDI policy has been changed by the current government.

"It has been made a decision to permit single brand retail trading entity to set off its incremental sourcing of goods from India for global operations during initial five years, beginning April 1 of the year of the opening of first store against the mandatory sourcing requirement of 30% of purchases from India", the statement said.

However, he said, it was expected that the government's liberalisation of FDI norms for multi-brand retail would enable large global retail chains to invest in the country and bring latest technologies and retail formats into India. It remains an unfinished agenda for the government.

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"Allowing 100% FDI under automatic route for the Single Brand retail will provide impetus to the development of infrastructural capabilities like warehousing and assist in creation of a well-organized and agile retail supply chains", said Anil Khaitan.

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