NEW DELHI: Faced with a harsh economic environment, the government on Tuesday opened the doors to greater foreign investment in almost a dozen sectors, including telecom and the tightly-policed defence, for “state-of-the-art” technology.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh moved in to iron out differences between various wings of the government to push through the fresh round of opening up to boost dwindling confidence in the Indian economy. Apart from telecom and defence, there were two segments of the financial sector – asset reconstruction companies and credit information bureaus – where the FDI ceiling was raised.
There was also the promise of increasing the cap in insurance, and consequently pension, to 49%, although the moves will need parliamentary approval. In several sectors such as oil and gas refining and stock exchanges, the government decided to allow FDI without prior approval.