US seeks more clarity on India’s FDI stance in e-commerce and defence sectors

Wednesday, 12 August,New Delhi : Pitching for FDI in India’s multi- brand retail and e-commerce sector, the US on Wednesday said it expects to see some progress on these issues even as it sought more clarification on sectors where foreign investment caps have been hiked.

“There has not been progress in FDI in multi-channel (brand) retail as well as web-based (e-commerce) retailing in which we hope to see more progress on,” said US Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan M Selig.

“In particular, even in those areas in which we have seen increase in investment caps, there is still hope that we can have some more clarification on what those caps will ultimately mean to the business and investors community,” he told reporters here.

Selig was replying to a question about India’s FDI norms and sectors which need to be opened up or need more clarity.

Although the current foreign investment policy permits 51% FDI in multi-brand retail, the BJP government is not known to be very keen on foreign investment being brought into this sector.

India has raised the Foreign Direct Investment limit in the defence and insurance sectors to 49% each and opened up the railway infrastructure segment. FDI ceiling in the sensitive defence sector has been hiked to 49% from 26%.

As for the railways, 100% FDI has been allowed in areas such as high-speed train systems, suburban corridors and dedicated freight line projects implemented in PPP mode.

India has received $14.30 billion FDI from the US during April 2000 and May 2015. America accounts for 6% of India’s total FDI during this period.