Singapore Airlines says options open on Air India disinvestment

Existing rules allow foreign airlines to own as much as 49% in private Indian airlines but not in Air India

India allows 100% FDI in single-brand retail, but investment beyond 49% requires prior government approval. He said in a statement that the CAIT would soon declare a nationwide strategy to oppose the "brutal move" by the government.

The cabinet has also allowed 100% FDI in real estate broking services by clarifying that it does not amount to real estate business.

Until now, FDI up to 49 per cent in single brand retail was permitted under automatic route, and beyond that limit, government approval was needed.

While allowing foreign airlines to have stake in Air India, the government has also made it clear that the national carrier's substantial ownership would remain with Indian nationals.

In a statement issued after the Cabinet decisions, the party said, "The politburo of the CPI (M) also strongly opposes the decision to allow foreign airlines to invest up to 49 per cent in Air India".

Under the new rules, for the first five years of their operations, SBRT entities would be allowed to set off their "incremental sourcing of goods" from India for global operations against the mandatory 30% local sourcing requirement.

The government has also chose to allow relax the local sourcing norms for foreign entities engaging in SBRT in India. For additional investment, they were required to obtain government approval.

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The Union Cabinet on 28 June 2017 gave an "in-principle" go-ahead for the strategic disinvestment of debt-ridden Air India after tasking a Group of Ministers to work out its modalities.

Overseas investment policy has also been liberalised in case of power exchanges, an online platform where electricity is traded.

Making changes in the sector relating to power exchanges, the government removed the restrictions on investment by foreign institute investors and portfolio investors to invest in power exchanges through primary market as well.

Sharma, a former Union Commerce and Industry minister, said the move was a "U-turn".

For this goal, it said, incremental sourcing would mean the increase in terms of value of such global sourcing from India for that single brand (in Indian rupee terms) in a particular financial year over the preceding financial year, by the non-resident entities undertaking single brand retail trading entity, either directly or through their group companies. "This will liberalise and simplify the FDI policy and provide ease of doing business in the country.#ReformsInFDIpolicy #FDIpolicyForNewIndia". This is the second round of FDI reform that the Modi government has unleashed.

"The PM should now accept that they are following previous policies only", he said. "I don't think it's going to make much change because nearly all the major brands of the world are already here as 100 percent FDI was already allowed". After the amendments, no government approval is required for 100 per cent investment.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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