Government has not yet decided on giving relaxation of sourcing condition in the single brand retail sector to three companies, Parliament was informed on Monday. “Only 3 companies have sought relaxation of sourcing condition. No decision has been taken by the government in this regard,” Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. However, the Minister has not disclosed the names of those companies.
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Currently, as per the FDI policy, in respect of proposals involving foreign investment beyond 51 per cent, sourcing of 30 per cent of the value of goods purchased will have to be done from India. Replying to a separate question, the Minister said some of the issues related to the Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) in services have not been concluded between India and Japan within the time frame envisaged.
The issue was taken up in the bilateral forum for early conclusion, she said. India and Japan have implemented their comprehensive free trade agreement in August 2011. MRAs pave the way for recognition of professional body of one country by the other. Regulatory bodies of various professional services like engineering, accountancy and architecture are encouraged to enter into these pacts.
Replying to a separate question, Sitharaman said that India has consultations with the US in May at the WTO on the visa issue. India had raised claims on the US measures relating to fees for L1 and H1B visas and numerical commitment for H1B visas, she said.
“The setting up of a dispute settlement panel in WTO involves detailed submissions on legal and factual issues. Necessary preparatory steps are underway,” she added.
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