Direct investment from Pakistan cleared, says Sharma news
08 June 2012

In order to further boost economic relations with politically inimical neighbour Pakistan, India has allowed foreign direct investment (FDI) from that country, commerce and industries minister Anand Sharma told a FICCI gathering today.

Emphasising the need to increase economic engagement with neighbouring countries, Sharma said, ''We have allowed Indians to invest in Pakistan; and Pakistani investment, whatever the amount, is welcome to come to India.''

He said South Asian economic integration would not be possible without engaging with Pakistan.

''We are clear that without Pakistan, the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) cannot move forward,'' he said.

The minister said that in the last one year, trade between India and Pakistan has moved forward.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has sent a proposal to the finance ministry for changes in the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to allow investments from Pakistan, the minister said.

Under the current FDI policy, persons or entities based in Pakistan are barred from investing directly in India.

Sharma also said Chinese businesses are interested in investing in India; and ''we will encourage and welcome Chinese investments''.

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Direct investment from Pakistan cleared, says Sharma