Liberalisation of Foreign Investment in Single-Brand Retail

Although the proposed policy changes on foreign investment in multi-brand retail had to be put on hold due to stiff resistance, the Government has issued Press Note No. 1 (2012 Series) to increase the limit of foreign investment in single-brand retail from 51% to 100%. Such foreign investment would continue to require the approval of the Government of India (acting through the Foreign Investment Promotion Board). For investments beyond 51%, a new condition requiring domestic sourcing has been inserted as follows:

In respect of proposals involving FDI beyond 51%, mandatory sourcing of at least 30% of the value of products sold would have to be done from Indian ‘small industries/ village and cottage industries, artisans and craftsmen’. ‘Small industries’ would be defined as industries which have a total investment in plant & machinery not exceeding US $ 1.00 million. This valuation refers to the value at the time of installation, without providing for depreciation. Further, if at any point in time, this valuation is exceeded, the industry shall not qualify as a ‘small industry’ for this purpose. The compliance of this condition will be ensured through self-certification by the company, to be subsequently checked, by statutory auditors, from the duly certified accounts, which the company will be required to maintain.

About the author

Umakanth Varottil

Umakanth Varottil is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore. He specializes in corporate law and governance, mergers and acquisitions and cross-border investments. Prior to his foray into academia, Umakanth was a partner at a pre-eminent law firm in India.

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