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LANDMARK WORLDWIDE happily would like to present you a snap shot of what FDI is all about.

The economy of India is the third largest in the world as measured by purchasing power parity (PPP), with a gross domestic product (GDP) of US $3.611 trillion. When measured in USD exchange-rate terms, it is the tenth largest in the world, with a GDP of US $800.8 billion (2006). India is the second fastest growing major economy in the world, with a GDP growth rate of 8.9% at the end of the first quarter of 2006-2007. However, India's huge population results in a per capita income of $3,300 at PPP and $714 at nominal.

FDI up to 100% is allowed under the automatic route in all activities/sectors except the following which will require approval of the Government: Activities/items that require an Industrial License;

Proposals in which the foreign collaborator has a previous/existing venture/tie up in India in the same or allied field.All proposals relating to acquisition of shares in an existing Indian company by a foreign/NRI investor. All proposals falling outside notified sectoral policy/caps or under sectors in which FDI is not permitted.

Foreign Direct Investment Policy

FDI policy is reviewed on an ongoing basis and measures for its further liberalization are taken. Change in sectoral policy/sectoral equity cap is notified from time to time through Press Notes by the Secretariat for Industrial Assistance (SIA) in the Department of Industrial Policy announcement by SIA are subsequently notified by RBI under FEMA. All Press Notes are available at the website of Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion.

FDI Policy permits FDI up to 100 % from foreign/NRI investor without prior approval in most of the sectors including the services sector under automatic route. FDI in sectors/activities under automatic route does not require any prior approval either by the Government or the RBI. The investors are required to notify the Regional office concerned of RBI of receipt of inward remittances within 30 days of such receipt and will have to file the required documents with that office within 30 days after issue of shares to foreign investors.

Automatic Route

All activities which are not covered under the automatic route prior Government approval for FDI/NRI shall be necessary. Areas/sectors/activities hitherto not open to FDI/NRI investment shall continue to be so unless otherwise decided and notified by Government. An investor can make an application for prior Government approval even when the proposed activity is under the automatic route.


An Indian corporate can raise foreign currency resources abroad through the issue of American Depository Receipts (ADRs) or Global Depository Receipts (GDRs). Regulation 4 of Schedule I of FEMA Notification no. 20 allows an Indian company to issue its Rupee denominated shares to a person resident outside India being a depository for the purpose of issuing Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) and/ or American Depository Receipts (ADRs), subject to the conditions that:

the ADRs/GDRs are issued in accordance with the Scheme for issue of Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds and Ordinary Shares (Through Depository Receipt Mechanism) Scheme, 1993 and guidelines issued by the Central Government there under from time to time The Indian company issuing such shares has an approval from the Ministry of Finance, Government of India to issue such ADRs and/or GDRs or is eligible to issue ADRs/ GDRs in terms of the relevant scheme in force or notification issued by the Ministry of Finance, and

There are no end-use restrictions on GDR/ADR issue proceeds, except for an express ban on investment in real estate and stock markets. The FCCB issue proceeds need to conform to external commercial borrowing end use requirements; in addition, 25 per cent of the FCCB proceeds can be used for general corporate restructuring.

Is not otherwise ineligible to issue shares to persons resident outside India in terms of these Regulations. There is no limit upto which an Indian company can raise ADRs/GDRs. However, the Indian company has to be otherwise eligible to raise foreign equity under the extant FDI policy.

A company engaged in the manufacture of items covered under Automatic route, whose direct foreign investment after a proposed GDRs/ADRs/FCCBs issue is likely to exceed the percentage limits under the automatic route, or which is implementing a project falling under Government approval route, would need to obtain prior Government clearance through FIPB before seeking final approval from the Ministry of Finance.

FDI Prohibited

FDI is not permissible in Gambling and Betting, or Lottery Business, Business of chit fund, Nidhi Company, Housing and Real Estate business, Trading in Transferable Development Rights (TDRs), Retail Trading, Atomic Energy Agricultural or plantation activities or Agriculture (excluding Floriculture, Horticulture, Development of Seeds, Animal Husbandry, Pisciculture and Cultivation of Vegetables, Mushrooms etc. under controlled conditions and services related to agro and allied sectors) and Plantations(other than Tea plantations)

General permission of RBI under FEMA.

RBI has granted general permission under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) in respect of proposals approved by the Government. Indian companies getting foreign investment approval through FIPB route do not require any further clearance from RBI for the purpose of receiving inward remittance and issue of shares to the foreign investors.

The companies are, however, required to notify the Regional office concerned of the RBI of receipt of inward remittances within 30 days of such receipt and to file the required documents with the concerned Regional offices of the RBI within 30 days after issue of shares to the foreign investors or NRIs.

Besides new companies, automatic route for FDI/NRI investment is also available to the existing companies proposing to induct foreign equity. For existing companies with an expansion programme, the additional requirements include: the increase in equity level resulting from the expansion of the equity base of the existing company without the acquisition of existing shares by NRI/foreign investors, the money to be remitted should be in foreign currency and proposed expansion programme should be in the sector(s) under automatic route. Otherwise, the proposal would need Government approval through the FIPB. For this a Board Resolution of the existing Indian company must support the proposal.

For existing companies without an expansion programme, the additional requirements for eligibility for automatic approval are: that they are engaged in the industries under automatic route; the increase in equity level must be from expansion of the equity base and the foreign equity must be in foreign currency.

The earlier SEBI requirement, applicable to public limited companies, that shares allotted on preferential basis shall not be transferable in any manner for a period of 5 years from the date of their allotment has now been modified to the extent that not more than 20 per cent of the entire contribution brought in by promoter cumulatively in public or preferential issue shall be locked-in.

Equity participation by international financial institutions such as ADB, IFC, CDC, DEG, etc. in domestic companies is permitted through automatic route subject to SEBI/RBI regulations and sector specific cap on FDI

India 's recently liberalised FDI policy (2005) allows up to a 100% FDI stake inventures.Industrial policy reforms have substantially reduced industrial licensing requirements, removed restrictions on expansion and facilitated easy access to foreign technology and foreign direct investment FDI. The upward moving growth curve of the real-estate sector owes some credit to a booming economy and liberalized FDI regime. InMarch 2005, the government amended the rules to allow 100 per cent FDI in the construction business. This automatic route has been permitted in townships, housing, built-up infrastructure and construction development projects including housing, commercial premises, hotels, resorts, hospitals, educational institutions, recreational facilities, and city- and regional-level infrastructure.