Government opens up retail, aviation, broadcasting to FDI

After being consistently derided for over a year for showing policy paralysis, the union cabinet, at its meeting on Friday, announced a slew of measures, including approval for 51 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail business and investment by foreign airlines in Indian carriers.

The meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also approved proposals to allow foreign participation in broadcasting services and power trading exchanges.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), at its meeting on Friday, decided to operationalise  51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail operations but left it to the state governments to decide on allowing such stores.

The CCEA also decided to ease sourcing norms for single brand retail trading where foreign investment of up to 100 per cent is allowed (See: Government allows 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail).

''The cabinet has approved the proposal of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion for permitting FDI in multi-brand retail trading, subject to specified conditions,'' an official release said.

The implementation of the policy is not a mandatory requirement for states, the release added.