India unifies foreign investment policies into one document (Lead)March 31st, 2010 - 7:24 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, March 31 (IANS) India Wednesday unveiled a comprehensive policy document that consolidates all policies on foreign direct investment, including as many as 178 press notes issued from time to time, in a bid to simplify procedures.
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma unveiled the document at a press conference here and said it will be updated every six months, with the help of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
“The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) will ensure the changes are incorporated every six months,” Sharma said, adding the industry lobby will also help and assist foreign investors who intend to invest in India.
“It is important that the message goes out far and wide that authorities in India are taking steps to simplify the rules and regulations pertaining to foreign direct investment in India,” said FICCI president Rajan Mittal.
“With the government taking steps to bring about procedural reforms, foreign investment flows would only rise as the global economic tide turns,” he said.
According to Chandrajit Banerjee, director general of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the move would aid in the simplification of procedures and boost the global investor’s confidence in India.
“It will also also enhance predictability and neutralize any negative perceptions based on hearsay regarding the foreign direct policy regulatory policy environment in India.”
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had promised such a document during his budget speech Feb 26, saying all prior rules, regulations and guidelines on foreign investment would be consolidated so that there is complete transparency on the matter.
“This would enhance clarity and predictability of our foreign direct investment policy to foreign investors,” the finance minister had said.
Thus far, foreign direct investment into India was administered primarily through a series of press notes, rules and guidelines issued over the years and some of its clauses had even led to disputes because of inconsistencies and vagueness.
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