India is the fastest growing economy among major Nations. The World Bank has improved India’s ranking by 12 places in the 2016 Study of Ease of Doing Business. The Central Government has expressed its commitment towards three pillared aim of liberalization, ease of doing business and investor friendly business environment.
To take its initiative further, the Government has brought in FDI related reforms and liberalisation touching upon 15 major Sectors of the Economy. The salient measures covering these areas are:
i.                     Limited Liability Partnerships, downstream investment and approval conditions.
ii.                   Investment by companies owned and controlled by Non-Resident Indians (NRIs)
iii.                  Establishment and transfer of ownership and control of Indian companies.
iv.                 Agriculture and Animal Husbandry
v.                   Plantation.
vi.       Mining and mineral separation of titanium bearing minerals and ores, its value addition and integrated activities.
vii.                Defence.
viii.              Broadcasting Sector.
ix.                 Civil Aviation.
x.                   Increase of sectoral cap.
xi.                 Construction development sector.
xii.                Cash and Carry Wholesale Trading / Wholesale Trading (including sourcing from MSEs).
xiii.              Single Brand Retail Trading and Duty free shops.
xiv.              Banking-Private Sector; and
xv.               Manufacturing Sector 
Steadfast on its aims the Government in last few months has introduced many FDI policy reforms in a number of sectors prominent amongst these are Defence, Rail Infrastructure, Construction Development, Insurance, Pension Sector, Medical Devices, White Label ATM Operations, Investments by NRIs on non-repatriation basis and has introduced composite cap for foreign investment. These amendments are path breaking and has unfolded an opportunity for foreign investment regime in India.

Details of changes in some key areas are as mentioned below:
Construction Sector
i.              Conditions of area restriction of floor area of 20,000 sq. mtrs in construction development projects and minimum capitalization of US $ 5 million to be brought in within the period of six months of the commencement of business have been removed.
ii.           A foreign investor will be permitted to exit and repatriate foreign investment before the completion of project under automatic route, provided that a lock-in-period of three years, calculated with reference to each tranche of foreign investment has been completed. Further, transfer of stake from one non-resident to another nonresident, without repatriation of investment will neither be subject to any lock-in period nor to any government approval. transferring, or enabling the enjoyment of, any immovable property.
Defence Sector:
FDI enabled up to 49 % under automatic route and beyond that through the FIPB’s approval. The government has done away with requirement of mandatory permission from the Cabinet Committee on Security for such projects. Portfolio investment and investment by FVCIs will also be allowed up to permitted automatic route level of 49 %.
Civil Aviation:
The Investment limits has raised from 74 % to 100 %, thus allowing foreign general aviation charter operators and large ground handling companies to set up their fully owned bases in India without going for joint ventures. The government has also allowed FDI up to 49 % for regional air transport services.
It has now been announced that Regional Air Transport Service will also be eligible for foreign investment up to 49 % under automatic route.
Single Brand Retail Trading:
The government has also announced the easing of several conditions for single brand retail trade and e-commerce. It has been decided that in case of state of art and cutting edge technology, sourcing norms i.e. 30 % of value of goods will have to be purchased from India – can be relaxed subject to government approval. The government also permitted entities who have been granted permission to undertake single brand retail through e-commerce. 
Limited Liability Partnerships:
100% FDI has been allowed under the automatic route in LLPs in sectors where 100% overseas investment is allowed. Further such LLP will also be allowed to make downstream investment in such entities where 100% overseas investment is allowed with no FDI linked conditions.
Plantation Activities including Coffee, Rubber, Cardamom etc:
 In line with Tea Plantation sector, the government has decided to open certain other plantation activities namely; coffee, rubber, cardamom , palm oil tree and olive oil tree plantations also for 100% foreign investment.
Broadcasting Sector:
The government has announced that100% FDI is now allowed (upto 49% automatic route and beyond that through government route) in teleports, direct to home, cable networks, mobile TV, headend in the sky broadcasting service and cable networks. FDI also increased to 49 per cent in FM radio through the government route.

Investment by Companies/Trusts/Partnerships Owned & Controlled by NRIs:
All investment by NRI’s and companies / trust/ partnerships owned and controlled by NRI’s under schedule 4 of FEMA (Transfer or issue of Security by Persons Resident Outside India) Regulations is deemed to be domestic investment at par with the investment made by residents.
Companies not carrying on any operations:
The Companies, which are not carrying on any operations are now allowed to undertake automatic route activities and can raise FDI without approval of Government. It has now been decided that for infusion of foreign investment into an Indian company, which does not have any operations and also does not have any downstream investments, Government approval would not be required, for undertaking activities, which are under automatic route and without FDI-linked performance conditions, regardless of the amount or extent of foreign investment.
Accordingly, the Government is moving towards its decided vision to make India a Global Manufacturing Hub.

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