Govt eases FDI rules in many areas

Concerned over the sluggish growth of the economy, Narendra Modi government has announced a slew of fresh measures to boost foreign investments in various sectors and propel the economy into cruise mode, as it relaxed FDI rules in single-brand retail, approved 26 per cent FDI in the digital media, and 100 per cent FDI under the automatic route in coal mining and contract manufacturing.

Besides this, in view of the grim flood situation across many parts of the country, the Union Cabinet decided to export 60 lakh tonnes of buffer stock of sugar, and also said sugar export subsidy will be given to cane farmers.

India has 162 lakh tonnes of sugar stock, of which 40 lakh tonnes is buffer stock and 60 lakh tonnes will be exported, I&B minister Prakash Javadekar told the media after the Cabinet meeting, last evening. The sugar export subsidy will help farmers liquidate their excess stock, the minister added.

Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal, who was also present, told reporters that “there is a little slowing down of FDI worldwide so we have taken some significant decisions”. He added that “100 per cent FDI for coal mining and all related processing activities will be allowed under the automatic route”.

On FDI in single-brand retail, the Cabinet has expanded the definition of the mandatory 30 per cent domestic sourcing norm. It facilitated single-brand retailers to start online sales, waiving the previous condition of setting up a mandatory brick-and-mortar store, Goyal said.

The minister further said these decisions were intended to “liberalise and simplify the FDI policy to provide ease of doing business in the country, leading to larger FDI inflows, and thereby contributing to the growth of investment, income and employment”.

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