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More clarity on FDI policy awaited

Special Correspondent

Centre will remove procedural bottlenecks

NEW DELHI: Still waiting for allocation of a portfolio, Union Minister Kamal Nath on Monday hinted that the new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy to be unveiled by the new Government at the Centre would throw up more details in an effort to fine tune the whole process.

Talking to reporters here, Mr. Nath said the fine tuning of FDI was a continuous process and indicated that a clearer picture would emerge when a formal decision was taken on the new FDI policy.

The Government had notified changes in the FDI policy in February which had raised a lot of controversy leading to review of certain clauses in the policy. Mr. Nath, who was the Commerce and Industry Minister in the previous UPA Government, said the Centre would be ready to remove procedural bottlenecks for foreign investors. However, allowing FDI in multi-brand retail would not be on the immediate agenda. India attracted about $25 billion during April-February 2008-09 despite the economic slowdown and recession throughout the globe.

With the changes, FDI caps and entry rules became meaningless as investors could enter sectors like retail through circuitous routes.

“We have been devoting South-South cooperation and that has been the cornerstone of the policy,” he said.

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