While the erstwhile Foreign Investment and Promotion Board (FIPB) has been abolished, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under the Commerce ministry will be incharge of its successor mechanism.This includes the old FIPB portal that has now been placed under the DIPP under a new name - the Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal, DIPP secretary Ramesh Abhishek said onThursday.
The portal is the main interface used by investors to apply for bringing in FDI into the country. The Cabinet had last month approved the abolition of FIPB, which was the authority clearing foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals for 25 years. Subsequently, FDI approvals in most sectors have been relegated to the ministries concerned. Abhishek said that while the standard operation procedures for processing FDI proposals are currently in the draft stage, they would be finalised before July 1.
The Cabinet has set a timeline of four weeks for transfer of all pending applications with the FIPB to the administrative ministries.However, any fresh application made under the portal would first be sorted by DIPP who would then forward that to the specific ministry involved within two days.Then the nodal ministry will take two weeks for scrutinising the proposals pending which it might ask for certain clarifications from DIPP regarding FDI norms."We will then respond to such queries within the next two weeks," Abhishek said.
FIPB proposals relating to private security agencies would be decided by the home ministry. Investments from Pakistan and Bangladesh as well as investments meant for the North-East region and Jammu & Kashmir will also require security clearance from the home ministry. Home ministry would take a call within 6 weeks, Abhishek said.
Similarly, the ReserveBank of India will have to offer its comments within four weeks.
Phased manufacturing programmes may be extended to other sectors as well
In yet another push to domestic manufacturing, the government may allow tax incentives and tariff intervention for more various industries on the lines of the phased manufacturing programme (PMP) aimed at boosting mobile phone production.
The move may be a logical step forward from the government policy to allow preference to domestic companies in government procurement, DIPP secretary Ramesh Abhishek said on Thursday. Under the PMP developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and announced last month, the government wants to jump start the large scale manufacturing of one the largest selling consumer goods in the country - mobile phones.
Sub parts of mobile phones including mechanics, microphone and receiver, keypad and USB cables, among others have been targeted. According to industry estimates, only about two per cent of value addition is done in India with regards to mobile phone manufacturing. Raising that figure over the next ten years is the primary aim of the PMP, which was proposed by a joint panel of the industry and the government.
On the other hand, the public procurement policy, also announced last month, mandates that only local suppliers will be eligible for procurement of goods and services above Rs. 5 lakh, if the nodal ministry determines that there is sufficient local capacity as well as competition.The move is aimed at giving a substantial boost to domestic manufacturing and service provision apart from stimulating the flow of capital and technology into the sector.