Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma on Sunday indicated that the government was actively considering raising the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in telecom and defence sectors, amid signs that a catalogue of measures is being readied to attract foreign investment into India.
“I am strongly in favour of raising the cap in telecom sector. I have discussed this with the telecom and finance ministers and once we have the proposal, we will move the Cabinet for raising the cap to 100%,” he said. “Also FDI in defence, because we want defence manufacturing to be here.”
“Defence technologies have multiple applications including industrial applications. We want the global majors to partner with the Indian entities...so the big outgo of foreign exchange could also be brought down and domestic manufacturing improves and jobs are created,” he said.
India opened up the defence equipment industry to private sector in May 2001, but restricted foreign participation to 26%.
Sharma will also chair a retail round table involving CEOs of Indian companies and foreign investors on June 27 to seek views on implementation issues.