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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech promised that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) would be phased out in 2017-18, and the road map for this would be unveiled during the current financial year. This is a laudable step towards simplifying the regulatory regime governing foreign direct investment (FDI). FDI inflows in India may be under the automatic route or the approval route. In the latter case, the FDI inflow is subject to prior approval from the central government. Administratively, the approval may flow from a ministry or department of the central government. The FIPB is an inter-ministerial body to facilitate single-window clearance for such proposals. Soon after the Budget speech, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated (“Ministries, regulators can decide fate of FDI proposals: Sitharaman”, Business Standard, February 7, 2017) that while the FIPB might be dispensed with, the approval regime would continue with sectoral
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