MHA to provide security clearance to FDI proposals within 3 months

To expedite the overall approval process, the Home Ministry has agreed to provide security clearance within three months as far as possible for foreign direct investment proposals, the government said on Friday. Minister of state for commerce and industry Nirmala Sitharaman acknowledged that concerns have been expressed by sectoral ministries/departments relating to delay in security vetting of FDI proposals, including those in strategic sectors like aviation and telecom.

She informed Lok Sabha that as decision on issues relating to national security are taken with due care, the delay if any are part of the process of due diligence. ‘Ministry of Home Affairs has recently agreed to provide security clearance within twelve weeks, as far as possible, to expedite the process,’ Sitharaman said. She noted that while Home Ministry sends FDI proposals immediately to central agencies, obtaining comments/inputs from them is a time consuming process as it entails collection of information from field formations.

‘Ministry of Home Affairs earnestly evaluates the reports in a time bound manner without causing any delay. In some cases, further details are sought from nodal ministries and also clarification from central agencies relating to the inputs received,’ Sitharaman said. Meanwhile, the minister said that fluctuations in FDI in the last three years have been due to macro-economic constraints rather than inter-departmental issues. In the last three years there have been fluctuations in FDI inflows, that touched USD 36.39 billion in 2013-14 period.

Sitharaman said there have been ‘a great lot of fluctuations’ in inflows in the last three years.
There have been fluctuations (in FDI inflows) due to macro economic constraints rather than inter-departmental issues, she noted. She was responding to a query on whether FDI inflows were impacted due to inter-departmental issues in recent times.

‘Under the liberalised economic environment, investment decisions of investors are based on the macro-economic policy framework, investment climate in the host country, investment policies of the trans-national corporations and other commercial considerations,’ Sitharaman said.
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