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FDI in insurance to be hiked to 49 per cent: Jaitley

Currently, the government permits 26 per cent FDI in defence manufacturing.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: July 10, 2014 2:32 pm
defence “India today is a largest buyer of defence equipment in the world. Our domestic manufacturing capabilities are still at a nascent stage”, said Jaitely. (Source: PTI)

In a big relief to the capital-starved private insurance sector, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday proposed raising the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cap from 26 per cent to 49 per cent.

“The insurance sector is investment starved. Several segments of insurance sector need expansion. The composite cap of the insurance sector is proposed to be increased to 49 per cent from the current level of 26 per cent with full management and control through the FIPB route,” he said while presenting the Budget for 2014-15.

The move would help insurance firms to get much needed capital from overseas partners.

The proposal to raise FDI cap has been pending since 2008 when the previous UPA government came up with Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill to hike foreign holding in insurance joint ventures to 49 per cent from the existing 26 per cent.

He said the government will take up the Bill soon.

On defence sector, Jaitley said the composite cap of foreign exchange is being raised to 49 per cent with full Indian management and control through the FIPB route.

Currently, the government permits 26 per cent FDI in defence manufacturing.

“India today is a largest buyer of defence equipment in the world. Our domestic manufacturing capabilities are still at a nascent stage.

“We are buying substantial part of our defence requirements directly from foreign players, companies controlled by foreign governments and foreign private parties are supplying our defence requirements to us and at a considerable outflow of foreign exchange,” he added.

Further to encourage development of smart cities which will also provide habitation for the new middle class, the Finance Minister announced that the requirement of the built up area and capital conditions for FDI is being reduced from 50,000 sq m to 20,000 sq m and from USD 10 million to USD 5 million respectively with a three years post completion lock in.

“To further encourage these projects, which commit at least 30 per cent of the total project cost for low cost affordable housing, (they) will be exempted from the minimum built up area and capitalisation requirements with conditions of 3 years lock in,” Jaitley said.

He said FDI in manufacturing sector is under automatic route.

“The manufacturing units will be allowed to sell its products through retail including e-commerce platforms without any additional approval,” he added.

Further, he said the existing mid-sized cities would be modernised to develop smart cities and satellite towns of larger cities.

“To provide the necessary focus to this critical activity, I have provided a sum of Rs 7,060 crore in the current fiscal,” he added.

The minister said as the fruits of the development reach an increasingly large number of people, the pace of migration from rural areas to the cities is increasing.

He said a new middle class is emerging with aspirations of better living standards and “unless new cities are developed to accommodate the burgeoning number of people, existing cities would become unlivable”.

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  1. H
    Harry Potter
    Jul 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm
    49 % is a Goodwarm-up towards 100 FDI!! Let’s see if patient comes out of coma, FDI 2000-2014only $4.94 bln of the overall $322 bln. What exactly is FOREIGN of FDI? Is LaxiMittal with Indian pport qualified to open defense facility? Sweat/researchshops in India but headquartered (top br) in say UK? How about a PIO is heeligible to run business from US/India or only born/brought-up never an NRI, isthis what is ‘Indian’ who wants to have control 51% stake? At McKenzie, ,CITI,, PEPSI, Microsoft/Nokia top br are/were India educated FOREIGNER, not toosure on their pport ideny. L&T an aggressive player in defense,hydrocarbon business headquartered in Sharzah, two CEOs of its IT arm are basedin US, not too sure if they still hold Indian pport. There were news paperreports/speculation of shifting L&T head-office to Dubai, of hiring anItalian to head hydrocarbon business of L&T. Mr. Naik is slogging at72 to find successor, fighting talent crunch due to life style and global(business hub) location expectations of top Indian/global talent. Foreign ofFDI needs to be established to shed Indian/Foreign mindset. Incremental 100%hike in defense budget over next five years, utilized to strengthen‘bellwether’ all time most reliable RAKSHAKS, defense PSUs. ‘Private Sector’Indian/foreigner can play in a level playing field of 100% FDI. Play well,enter/exit based on profits – but please don’t mix profit withpatriotism/protection - Be a A business MaN.