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According to the government, foreign direct investment (FDI) in India has increased by 48% between October 2014 and April 2015 as opposed to the same period last year. As per the statement, the telecom sector saw investments worth $2.8 billion while computer software and hardware industry saw investments worth $2.2 billion. In 2014-15, there was an investment of $40.92 billion by Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) and the FDI inflow under the approval was $2.22 billion, out of which 90% was on the automatic route.

New FDI website for e-filing: In February this year, the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) had launched a sleek new website for secure e-filing of applications which needed government approval for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India. With the introduction of the new website, applicants would need to submit only a single copy of the application for records with the FIPB Secretariat instead of 15-18 copies which needed to be filed earlier.

Chat with ministries after online application: The Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, which launched the website, said that as a part of good governance to enhance government procedural transparency and accountability, applicants of FDI could apply from anywhere in the world. They could take part in online communication with FIPB as well as other respective ministries or departments, get query alerts through SMS and email and ask questions through a query module which will be vetted by relevant ministries.

FDI in ecommerce limited to 51%: In May, the government stayed its decision to allow 51% stake for foreign investors in multi-brand retail in India. The commerce ministry was to conduct multiple rounds of consultations with state governments and other concerned ministries before it would take a decision on allowing FDI above 51%.

Rajasthan had backed out of FDI in retail: Note that in last February, the state of Rajasthan changed its stance on FDI after a change in government to BJP from the Congress. With this, Rajasthan followed Delhi in withdrawing support to FDI in retail, after the Congress lost to the Aam Aadmi Party. The only 10 other states and Union Territories remaining at that time were: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Haryana, Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Daman & Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Image Credit: Flickr user epSos .de