The industry department will discuss the draft standard operating procedure (SOP) for clearing foreign investment proposals with other departments, including revenue and economic affairs, tomorrow. The standard operating procedure (SOP) is being finalised after the abolition of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), which was clearing FDI proposals earlier. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), under the Commerce and Industry Ministry, has already circulated the draft document to all departments. “After discussing the SOP with all the concerned departments tomorrow, the DIPP would soon release the SOP formally,” an official said. The meeting will be chaired by DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek. Around 40 officials from ministries such as home affairs, finance, science and technology, defence and information and broadcasting would be attending the meeting.
Last month, India scrapped the 25-year old FIPB as it looks to attract more FDI by providing quick approvals under a single-window clearance system. The finance ministry had stated that the DIPP would come out with detailed guidelines for processing FDI proposals and ensuring a consistency of treatment and uniformity of approach.
As per the draft SOP, the existing FIPB portal will be revamped for online filing of foreign investment proposals. The portal will be named as Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal (FIFP). The DIPP would then transfer the proposal online to a ministry or department concerned within two days of filing.
Time limits have been fixed for every stage of clearance. FDI proposals which do not require security approval would be cleared in eight weeks, while those needing clearance would be approved in 10 weeks. Additional two weeks time would be given to the DIPP for applications that are proposed for rejection.
Proposals which require security clearances from the Home Ministry include investments in telecommunication, satellites, broadcasting and security agencies. FDI applications from Pakistan and Bangladesh would also need Home Ministry’s nod besides investments in the north-eastern region and Jammu and Kashmir.