To boost the ailing economy, the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday relaxed foreign direct investment (FDI) rule for foreign single-brand retailers and also permitted foreign investment in contract manufacturing and coal mining.
In the first decision, the cabinet has allowed online retailing under single-brand retail and relaxed rules for complying with the mandatory 30 percent local sourcing norms by foreign single-brand retailers.
Now, single-brand retail firms would also be permitted to open online stores before setting up brick-and-mortar shops. Currently, online sale by a single-brand retail player is allowed only after the opening of physical outlet.
In the second decision, 100 percent FDI in contract manufacturing under automatic route has been allowed and 26 percent FDI has been allowed in digital media.
In the current policy, 100 percent FDI is allowed under automatic route in the manufacturing sector but it was silent on contract manufacturing.
"In order to provide clarity on contract manufacturing, it has been decided to allow 100 per cent FDI under automatic route in contract manufacturing as well," the statement said.
In the third decision, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said 100 percent FDI under automatic route in coal mining and associated infrastructure has been approved.
They will also be able to carry out other associated processing infrastructure related to the sector such as coal washery, crushing, coal handling, and separation (magnetic and non-magnetic).
As per the present FDI policy, 100 percent overseas investments under automatic route was allowed for coal and lignite mining for captive consumption by power projects, iron and steel and cement units only.
"Further, 100 percent FDI under automatic route is also permitted for setting up coal processing plants like washeries subject to the condition that the company shall not do coal mining and shall not sell washed coal or sized coal from its coal processing plants in the open market and shall supply the washed or sized coal to those parties who are supplying raw coal to coal processing plants for washing or sizing," an official statement said.
But, the decision is subject to provisions of Coal Mines (special provisions) Act, 2015 and the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.
Sugar Export Subsidy
In the fourth decision, the government has approved Rs 6,268 crore export subsidy for 60 lakh tonnes of sugar. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"We have taken an important decision in the interest of sugarcane farmers. The cabinet has approved export subsidy for 6 million tonnes for 2019-20," Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters after the cabinet meeting
A lump sum export subsidy of Rs 10,448 per tonne will be given to sugar mills in the 2019-20 marketing year (October-September), costing the exchequer Rs 6,268 crore as a subsidy, he said.
India has 162 lakh tonne of sugar stock, of which 40 lakh tonnes is buffer stock and 60 lakh tonne will be exported, Javadekar said.
#Cabinet approves Sugar export policy for evacuation of surplus stocks during sugar season 2019-20; Government Medical Colleges
In the biggest ever expansion of medical facilities in the world, the government will open 75 medical colleges with an investment of Rs 24,000 crore, which will benefit the rural population in the country.The proposed new medical colleges will add 15,700 MBBS seats in the country, Javadekar said.
In the sixth decision, cabinet approved the establishment of an International Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure along with its supporting secretariat office in New Delhi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the CDRI during UN Climate Summit in New York on September 23, an official statement said. The approval to set up the CDRI and its supporting secretariat office was given by a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by the prime minister.
The CDRI is proposed to be launched at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, September 23. Organised by the UN secretary-general, this event will bring together the largest number of heads of states to generate commitments for combating the effects of climate change and resulting disasters, and will provide the high-level visibility required for the CDRI, the statement said.
FDI in Digital Media
In the seventh decision,Â the government permitted 26 percent overseas investments through government approval route for uploading/ streaming of news and current affairs through digital media, on the lines of print media. The present FDI policy is silent on the fast-growing digital media segment.In the print media sector, 26 percent FDI is allowed through government approval route. Similarly, 49 per cent is permitted in broadcasting content services through government approval route.