More liberalisation of FDI policy in coming weeks, says Anand Sharma

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SummaryConstruction & maintenance projects of rlys on govt radar

To attract more foreign investment, the government could further liberalise the FDI policy in the coming weeks, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The government will continue its endeavour for liberalising the FDI policy further in the coming weeks to ensure that India retains its leadership position for attracting foreign investments," Sharma said.

Last year, the government had relaxed foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in several sectors such as telecom, defence, PSU oil refineries, commodity bourses, power and stock exchanges. Sharma had said that the government is looking to relax the policy in some more sectors. The government is expected to allow foreign investment up to 74% in railway construction and maintenance projects, with the cabinet giving a go-ahead within the next few weeks.

“The bold decisions of the UPA government for liberalising the Foreign Direct Investment Policy in key sectors such as civil aviation, retail and telecom have resonated with the global community and we have seen results in the last few months,” he said.

During April-October this fiscal, India attracted FDI worth $12.6 billion, 15% lower from the corresponding period last year. He also said the coming months will see a greater push for development of industrial corridors across the country and work will commence for establishment of the first few cities along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC).

The $90-billion DMIC project is aimed at creating mega industrial infrastructure along the Delhi-Mumbai Rail Freight Corridor, which is under implementation with help from Japan, which is providing financial and technical aid for the project.

"The coming months will see a greater push for development of industrial corridors across the country and work will commence for establishment of the first few cities along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor," he said.

Showing optimism, Sharma said in spite of weak demand in traditional markets, exports have done reasonably well and in the first eight months of the current financial year, exports touched $204 billion, registering growth of over 6% over the same period last year.

“It was also reassuring that trade deficit also came down to $99.9 billion during this period as compared to $129 billion during the same period last year,” he said.

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