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India Opens Space Sector to 100% Foreign Investment

India has taken a significant step by opening its space sector to 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) through an amendment in the FDI policy. This move aims to attract investors, enhance ease of doing business, and foster growth, in line with the vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat as outlined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Liberalized FDI Thresholds

Under the amended FDI policy, various sub-sectors and activities within the space sector now have liberalized FDI thresholds:

  • Satellite-related activities such as manufacturing, operation, and data products can receive FDI up to 74% under the automatic route, with government approval required beyond this threshold.
  • Sub-sectors including launch vehicles, associated systems, and spaceports can attract FDI up to 49% through automatic routes, with government approval needed beyond this limit.
  • Manufacturing of components and systems/sub-systems for satellites, ground segment, and user segment is eligible for 100% FDI under the automatic route.

Impact on Ease of Doing Business

The liberalized entry routes are expected to enhance the ease of doing business in India, leading to increased FDI inflows and contributing to overall economic growth, investment, income, and employment opportunities.

Alignment with Indian Space Policy 2023

The amendment aligns with the Indian Space Policy 2023, which aims to unlock India’s potential in the space sector through enhanced private participation. It seeks to augment space capabilities, develop a robust commercial presence, drive technology development, foster international relations, and create an ecosystem for effective space applications.

Consultation and Stakeholder Engagement

The Department of Space consulted with key stakeholders including IN-SPACe, ISRO, NSIL, and various industrial stakeholders to formulate these policy reforms, ensuring alignment with the sector’s needs and objectives.

Benefits of Increased Private Sector Participation

Increased private sector participation is expected to generate employment, facilitate technology absorption, and enhance self-reliance in the space sector. It will integrate Indian companies into global value chains, promote domestic manufacturing (Make In India), and support the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat initiatives.

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