Economy News-Daily Digest: 3 Key Updates
1. In FDI push, Centre allows 49% foreign ownership in AI
The Centre eased several foreign direct investment norms, including allowing overseas airlines to own up to 49% of Air India and permitting 100% FDI in single brand retail and construction development under the automatic route.As per the present policy, foreign airlines are allowed to invest under the government approval route in the capital of Indian companies operating scheduled and non-scheduled air transport services, up to the limit of 49% of their paid-up capital.
However, this provision was not applicable to Air India. The government, therefore, decided to do away with this restriction.
Now Air India is on a par with other Indian airline operators with respect to FDI norms.
2. Centre opens arms to single brand retail FDI
The Union government liberalised and simplified the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) regime in a host of sectors, including Single Brand Retail Trading (SBRT) and construction development.
The Union Cabinet gave its approval to a proposal permitting 100% FDI under the automatic route for SBRT.
The Centre also eased ‘sourcing norms’ in SBRT by permitting companies to set off their incremental sourcing of goods from India for global operations in the initial five years- beginning April 1 of the year of the opening of the firm’s first store- against the mandatory sourcing requirement of 30% of purchases from India.
After the completion of the five-year period, SBRT entities would be required to meet the 30% sourcing norms directly towards its India’s operation, on an annual basis.
3. Ministry of Railway launches Smart Freight Operation Optimisation & Real Time Information (SFOORTI) Application.
In a major digital initiative to help plan the traffic flows and optimize freight operations, Ministry of Railways have launched Smart Freight Operation Optimisation & Real Time Information (SFOORTI) App for Freight Managers which provides features for monitoring and managing freight business using Geographic Information System (GIS) Views and Dashboard.