Commerce Ministry moves note on FDI norms in Railways

Hyderabad (HYB):  The Union Commerce Ministry has taken the lead in relaxing foreign direct investment norms for the Railways and Construction sector, having moved a cabinet note on the proposal.  Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma is also calling for a meeting with the Finance Minister and Urban Development Minister to take the proposal forward.

“FDI is coming into other sectors. We are discussing FDI norms for Railways and construction sector. We hope that more FDI will come into other manufacturing sectors, including defence,” Sharma told media persons.

The Minister, who has been hinting at further liberalisation of the FDI policy in the coming weeks, said the government will take an “early view” on FDI norms in the railways and construction sectors.

Last year, the government slackened FDI norms in several sectors such as telecom, defence, PSU oil refineries, commodity bourses, power exchanges and stock exchanges. The first investment proposal in the multi-brand retail sector after easing of FDI norms came through last month, with British retailer Tesco seeking an entry into India through a partnership with Tata’s Trent.

In response to a question, Sharma said other European retailers had also indicated interest in entering the Indian market. In the last four years, the FDI flow into the country was $ 220 billion, including the investments in the current fiscal.