Centre mulls escort service to help MNCs with FDI hiccups

New Delhi, January 21: | Updated: Jan 22 2002, 05:30am hrs
The government is considering to set up an escort service at the central level, where a senior official will be responsible for foreign direct investment (FDI)-related issues for specific multinational companies (MNCs).

The escort service model, already implemented in Andhra Pradesh, stipulates that a senior official from Indian Administrative Service (IAS) or Indian Foreign Service (IFS) will be the nodal person for an individual MNC and will help it in resolving FDI-related problems.

The steering committee on FDI, headed by Mr NK Singh, is meeting on Tuesday to consider various issues related to foreign investment along with some specific suggestions including escorts service, sources close to government said.

Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) MNC council has recommended setting up of the escort service at the Centre, reduction of the number of FDI-related bodies and identification of target sectors.

CII deputy director-general Ajay Khanna told The Financial Express, “CII submitted its recommendations to the committee on Monday.”

“It has also decided to set up a facilitation cell for FDI under MNC council to help its members resolve related issues,” he said adding that CII with its 33 offices in India will work proactively with states to identify specific projects.

The association has stressed upon the need to restructure administrative agencies like Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and Foreign Investment Implementation Authority (FIIA). In a recent meeting of CII MNC council in Bangalore, companies have specified that FDI policies is not the real issue.

“The real issue is the process and procedures, both, at the Centre and at state levels,” CEOs of 19 MNCs concluded.