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Single window approval for FDI by March


“The momentum for reform shall continue. Several more active reform-related steps are being taken up,” says Nirmala Sitharaman

A brand new, unified single window clearance system for overseas direct funding (FDI) proposals can be in place by March 31, a prime authorities official stated on Monday, stressing that this is able to not solely make approvals clear however expeditious.

“An effective, unified, single window will be made available so that access to regulators, policymakers and facilitators are all available at one point from wherever you are and you will be able to access it digitally,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman advised multinational firms at a gathering hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Guruprasad Mohapatra, secretary within the division of promotion of business and inside commerce beneath the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, stated that the one window clearance system being developed will probably be ‘very effective’ and allow the potential investor to work together with all of the Ministries whose approvals are required, within the central authorities in addition to within the States.

“We are expecting to put it in place by March-end. That will help investors a lot in not just getting information about the status of approvals, but in getting faster approvals,” he stated. Mr. Mohapatra additionally stated the Centre’s industrial data system for potential buyers now contains particulars of land availability in as many as 14 States.

‘Sovereign Funds interested’

Ms. Sitharaman stated the federal government had seen recent curiosity from massive sovereign wealth funds trying to put money into the nation and conceded the necessity to tackle many compliance points that fear buyers at massive.

“In this year’s Budget, just two-three weeks before we went into lockdown, we promised tax concessions for sovereign wealth funds investing in the country. Since then, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw interest expressed by several sovereign funds,” she stated.

“The National Infrastructure Investment Fund has been actively engaging with them through the lockdown to see how best we can facilitate them with the benefits of the tax concessions given and the pipeline of infrastructure projects. These funds now want to tie up with many of these projects and I understand the last one month, we have had at least two new sovereign funds coming and asking ‘Can we also benefit from the tax concessions’,” the Minister stated.

Stressing that the federal government would proceed the momentum of reforms undertaken throughout the pandemic, the Finance Minister stated that a number of extra energetic reform-related steps have been being taken up and suggestions from world buyers can be factored in.

“From a multinational company’s perspective, if you were to look at the Indian economy and where the emphasis is going to be in the coming Budget and in policymaking, I will start by saying the PM has himself been engaging with the global investor community and talking about how he views India in this changing environment. They are speaking about what they see and expect from India in the policy space,” she stated.

Responding to MNCs’ considerations about delays in bilateral advance pricing agreements (APAs) and tax dispute settlements, Ms Sitharaman agreed that APAs have to be expedited as a substitute of taking 5 years as they’d been in some instances, which defeated the aim.

“We do need a robust system to resolve disputes on an ongoing basis rather than wait for a day to announce a scheme. There should be simultaneous tracking of disputes to settle them at the earliest. We shall see what can we do,” she stated.

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