New FDI norms remove ambiguity, cut down approvals: Ashok Lavasa

By: | Updated: June 22, 2016 10:19 PM

Government has done away with additional layer of approvals as well as removed ambiguities in the provisions while further opening doors for foreign investments in nine sectors, Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa said today.

Earlier this week the government unleashed second wave of FDI reforms allowing 100 per cent inflows in civil aviation and food processing sectors while easing norms in defence and pharmaceuticals. (PIB)Earlier this week the government unleashed second wave of FDI reforms allowing 100 per cent inflows in civil aviation and food processing sectors while easing norms in defence and pharmaceuticals.
(PIB)

Government has done away with additional layer of approvals as well as removed ambiguities in the provisions while further opening doors for foreign investments in nine sectors, Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa said today.

“There were two considerations overriding in the FDI policy. One was to remove such phrases or provisions which had any ambiguity, or which would lead to interpretation by one person which someone else will question.

“The second overriding consideration of FDI policy was wherever there was a law which prevails, wherever there are regulations which the companies are supposed to adhere to, those laws will be adequate to deal with the concerns of that particular sector,” he said at an event here.

Also read: India opens FDI floodgates; Apple to Qatar Airways gain, but grey areas remain

Earlier this week the government unleashed second wave of FDI reforms allowing 100 per cent inflows in civil aviation and food processing sectors while easing norms in defence and pharmaceuticals.

A significant change in local sourcing policy for single-brand retail trading could now enable US-based Apple Inc to open stores.

Under the revamped policy companies using cutting edge or state of art technology will be exempted from meeting the local sourcing norm for up to first three years. Thereafter, in the next five years the company will have to meet the domestic sourcing norm at an annualised average rate of 30 per cent.

Lava said ‘state of the art’ is one expression which was creating ambiguity. “I don’t know if anybody can definitively provide what should be treated as state of art. So it was felt that such expressions which lead to ambiguity should be removed,” Lavasa said.

He said the additional layer of FIPB approval which does not diminish the authority of law, that additional layer can be done away with.

“Whether you are a FDI or you are a domestic entrepreneur your sector will be subjected to those laws, so let those laws take care of those concerns,” Lavasa said.

He said sectors such as aviation and security services were chosen for FDI liberalisation because there is huge demand and scope for employment generation.

Asked about questions being raised in several quarters after the veracity of the GDP numbers put out by CSO, he said the numbers are sound and credible.

“I don’t think we need to quibble about this number. People might have some questions, some of them could be legitimate, but I don’t see why one should be unduly perturbed by these questions. I think the numbers are quite sound and credible,” Lavasa said.

While CSO has estimated that India’s GDP grew at 7.6 per cent in 2015-16, retaining the tag of world’s fastest-growing major economy for the second year in a row, the data has been questioned by some experts who have pointed to large ‘discrepancies’ totalling Rs 2.15 lakh crore between GDP estimates based on production and expenditure.

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