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FDI Landscape: ₹1 Lakh Crore Proposals from India’s Border Neighbors; 50% Cleared

Since April 2020, India has attracted FDI proposals totaling ₹1 lakh crore from countries sharing its land borders, including China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, and Afghanistan. A crucial development came in April 2020 when the government mandated prior approval for such investments to safeguard domestic firms amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proposal Status:

  • Total Proposals: ₹1 lakh crore
  • Approval Status: 50% cleared
  • Pending/Withdrawn/Rejected: The remaining applications fall into these categories, with pending proposals undergoing scrutiny by security agencies and ministries.

Nuanced Approach

The government employs a nuanced approach, evaluating proposals based on their potential to enhance manufacturing capacities. The emphasis is on discerning whether the applications add substantial value to India’s industrial landscape.

Inter-Ministerial Scrutiny

An inter-ministerial committee has been established to thoroughly scrutinize FDI proposals. The sectors attracting the most interest include manufacturing (heavy machinery, automobile, auto components), computer software and hardware, trading, e-commerce, and light engineering/electrical manufacturing.

Major Contributors:

  • China: Predominantly leads in FDI proposals.
  • Other Contributors: Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh have also submitted applications.

Top Sectors for FDI Proposals:

  1. Manufacturing (heavy machinery, automobile, auto components)
  2. Computer software and hardware
  3. Trading and e-commerce
  4. Manufacturing of light engineering and electrical goods

Investment Figures (April 2000 to September 2023):

  • China: Contributed USD 2.5 billion FDI equity.
  • Other Nations: Received varying amounts, including USD 0.08 million from Bangladesh, USD 4.51 million from Nepal, USD 9 million from Myanmar, and USD 2.57 million from Afghanistan.

Notable Partnership:

China’s SAIC Motor recently formed a joint venture with the JSW Group to bolster MG Motor’s growth in India, addressing its capital challenges. In this venture, JSW Group holds a 35% stake in Indian JV operations.

Important Questions Related to Exams

Q: Why did the Indian government introduce a regulatory measure in April 2020 regarding FDI from neighboring countries?

A: The regulatory measure was introduced to make prior approval mandatory for foreign investments from countries sharing land borders with India. The objective was to curb opportunistic takeovers of domestic firms, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q: What percentage of the FDI proposals from neighboring countries has been approved by the Indian government?

A: 50% of the FDI proposals, amounting to ₹1 lakh crore, have been approved by the Indian government. This signifies a nuanced approach to approval rather than a complete shutdown of foreign investments.

Q: What is the purpose of the inter-ministerial committee formed by the Indian government in relation to FDI proposals?

A: The inter-ministerial committee’s purpose is to scrutinize and evaluate FDI proposals. It assesses whether these proposals add value to India’s manufacturing capacities and align with the country’s strategic interests.

Q: Which sectors witnessed major FDI proposals from neighboring countries, according to the information provided?

A: The major sectors include manufacturing of heavy machinery, automobile, auto components; computer software and hardware; trading, e-commerce, and manufacturing of light engineering and electrical.

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