Health Care

Govt allows 100% FDI under automatic route for single brand retail

Govt allows 100% FDI under automatic route for single brand retail

In a move created to expedite the strategic divestment in Air India, the Cabinet on Wednesday chose to open up the national carrier for foreign direct investment (FDI) up to 49 per cent under the approval route.

Futures Enterprises was up 5.11% at Rs 49.40, Avenue Supermarts (+1.38% at Rs 1,248.25), Shoppers Stop (+2.01% at Rs 546.05), and Trent (+1.15% at Rs 344.15).

The CPI-M also strongly opposed the decision to allow foreign airlines to invest up to 49 per cent in Air India. Upto 49 per cent FDI is allowed under automatic route presently, but any investment beyond the limit requires government approval.

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Making the announcement, Sinha said the Air India stake sale would most likely be an offering for an integrated airline through the bidding process "and both domestic and global operations will be divested as one entity". These are chose to simplify and liberalise the FDI policy in India to provide ease of doing business in the country.

Once the country's monopoly airline, Air India has slowly lost market share to new low-priced private players in one of the world's fastest-growing airline markets.

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Abhishek Goenka, Leader, Direct Tax, PwC India, said in a statement, "The clarification that brokerage services are not real estate business, and hence, eligible for 100 per cent FDI under the automatic route was long overdue".

The government said that the decision would help provide ease of doing business and also lead to larger FDI inflows contributing to growth of investment, income and employment.

As per the existing procedures, FDI applications involving investments from countries of concern requiring security clearance are to be processed by the Home Ministry for investments falling under automatic route sectors and activities.

Air India made a loss of Rs 4,310.65 crore in 2015-16, adding to its Rs 6,280.42 crore loss in the previous financial year. "In the financial year 2016-17, total FDI of USA $ 60.08 billion has been received, which is an all-time high", the statement said. It also amended the definition of "medical devices" in its FDI policy.

In another change, it has now been decided that issue of shares against non-cash considerations like pre incorporation expenses, import of machinery etc shall be permitted under automatic route in the case of sectors under automatic route. "The industry was saddled with differing views and interpretations on this count, and this should now ease the pain for existing worldwide players, as well as provide clarity for future JVs and wholly owned presence in India".


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