India to Issue New Discussion Papers on FDI Policy

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Apr. 26 – India is set to release six discussion papers related to foreign direct investment policy next month with a possibility that it may include a paper on reforming India’s retail sector.

“We will bring out discussion papers and invite suggestion from the public,” Secretary Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) R.P. Singh told The Press Trust of India. On the question of which areas the papers will cover, Singh said, “All the issues which are troubling you will be covered.” He indicated that one of the papers would be on the multi-brand retail sector.

The papers are also expected to cover important FDI issues in the defense, pharmaceutical and agriculture sectors when it is released by May 12 or 13. Foreign investment in India’s multi-brand sector remains forbidden. The government only allows allows 51 percent FDI in single-brand retail.

Singh added that the pharmaceutical department was not averse to FDI, but was requesting for a review of the policy. “The Department of Pharmaceutical are not opposing FDI. They are only saying that FDI (policy) should be reviewed and it should not result in Indian companies being purchased by foreigners” he said. India now allows 100 percent FDI in drugs and pharmaceuticals through the automatic route.

In March, India released a compendium of all the polices related to FDI with an objective of simplifying norms. FDI inflows in the first 10 months of 2009-10 were US$22.9 billion.

Related reading:

India Reconsiders FDI for Multibrand Retail
FDI Cleared for 100 Percent in Pharmaceutical Sector
India’s New Consolidated FDI Policy (Download Available)