Millennium Post

Cabinet to soon take a call on FIPB abolition

Cabinet to soon take a call on FIPB abolition
The Union Cabinet will soon take a call on the winding up of the 25-year-old Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday.

"A decision has been made for closure of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board.

Necessary arrangements will have to be made on which discussions have happened among several ministries... The Cabinet has to take a call on it," she told reporters here.

She said this in a media briefing on initiatives and achievements of the ministry in the last three years.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget for 2017-18 had proposed scrapping of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board – an inter-ministerial body under the finance ministry's Department of Economic Affairs that processes FDI proposals and makes recommendations for government approval.

The government is yet to announce the modalities of the new system of processing applications which fall under the approval route. The FIPB was initially constituted under the Prime Minister's Office in the wake of economic liberalisation in the early 1990s. FIPB was housed in the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance. Sectors that are under the approval route for Foreign direct investment includes defence and retail trading. As per the proposed mechanism, respective ministries would take care of the FDI proposals.

Asked about more liberalisaton in the Foreign direct investment policy, Sitharaman said the government has brought in a number of big-ticket reforms and the "process will continue".

"We will have a lot more discussions on easing up Foreign direct investment norms," she pointed out.


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