New Delhi: The Narendra Modi cabinet Wednesday cleared a proposal to allow 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in coal mining, its sale and associated infrastructure, and contract manufacturing through the automatic route.
The cabinet also approved a proposal to allow 26 per cent FDI, with government permission, for online news media. At present, while 26 per cent FDI is allowed in the print media, 49 per cent is allowed in broadcasting content services.
The cabinet further permitted 100 per cent FDI for third party manufacturers in contract manufacturing. Currently, FDI is allowed only to companies that manufacture their own products.
Announcing the decisions after the cabinet meeting, Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said the cabinet has decided to relax the current FDI norms for single-brand retail. Such retailers will now be allowed to start online stores before they set up brick-and-mortar-stores, which is the norm now, Goyal added.
Sourcing norms for single-brand retail eased
Local sourcing norms for single-brand retail have also been eased. At present, foreign companies have to source at least 30 per cent of the products locally, but the cabinet has decided that all previous sourcing will be factored in the 30 per cent.
Goyal said the cabinet has also decided that all procurement made from India shall be counted towards local sourcing, irrespective of whether products are sold in India or exported. “Our expectation is this will lead to larger capacities,” Goyal said.
The minister said that between 2014 and 2019, India attracted $286 billion of FDI as against $189 billion between 2009 and 2014. “Today’s decisions will help make India an FDI-friendly destination,” he said at a media briefing.
Cabinet also approves 75 new medical colleges
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said the cabinet Wednesday also approved 75 new medical colleges to be established by 2021 and 2022. This will create 15,700 MBBS seats in the country, he said.
“We have already approved 82 medical colleges in last five years,” Javadekar said. “Today we approved 75 more. No other place in the world has seen such a huge expansion in medical education in such a short time.”
The cabinet also approved a sugar export policy, which will help allow about 60 lakh tonnes of sugar to be exported in the 2019-20 fiscal.
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