Govt clears 49% FDI in Air India

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

The cabinet also allowed foreign airlines to invest up to 49 percent in the debt-ridden national carrier Air India, subject to government approval. Relaxations are also made on FDI on medical devices and firms receiving foreign investments.

"Steps such as FDI reform will encourage foreign investors and allow India to realise its dream of becoming one of the world's most powerful economies", he said in a statement.

India has secured robust foreign investment inflows in recent years, but its economic growth has slowed recently.

Swadeshi Jagran Manch has said that easing the norms for FDI in SBRT would go against the best interest of the country. Foreign single-brand retail companies can set up operations without any time lag, thanks to the nod for 100% FDI under the automatic route.

In construction sector, the Government clarified that real-estate broking service eligible for 100% FDI under automatic route.

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With more investments, more jobs and income for the nation is expected, and the 49% on Air India came at the wake of government's decision to disinvestment on the carrier.

Among the "disastrous decisions", Sen listed the "hasty merger" of Indian Airlines and Air India and "forcible procurement" of a huge fleet of aircraft from foreign companies through direct purchase at an inopportune time thereby imposing on the company an "unbearable burden of indebtedness leading to loss". Overseas investment policy has also been liberalised in case of power exchanges.

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to a number of amendments in the FDI Policy. "We believe the decision to allow 100 per cent FDI through automatic route will ease the process for foreign as well domestic brands", Retailers Association said.

Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Ramesh Abhishek said the move would help further improve investment climate in India.

Cases under the government approval route, also requiring security clearance with respect to countries of concern, will continue to be processed by concerned administrative department or ministry.

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