FDI policy review, deregulation of diesel soon: PM

FDI policy review, deregulation of diesel soon: PM

More reforms sent out positive signals

FDI policy review,  deregulation of diesel soon: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said his government is reviewing the FDI policy comprehensively and that it will allow diesel to move gradually towards market based pricing over the next few months.

 Addressing the CII here on Wednesday, Singh said, “In addition to supporting domestic investment, we have given clear signals that we welcome foreign investment which has a critical role in bringing in modern technology and globalising our economy.”

“Even as our Indian industry steps out to invest abroad, we must welcome foreign investors coming to India, and using India as a part of their global supply chain.”
The liberalisation of FDI in multi-brand retail, civil aviation and other areas, are important signals, he said.

“We are reviewing the FDI policy comprehensively to see what more can be done in the coming months.”

Noting that his government was taking several steps to beat the ongoing downturn, the PM remarked: “We have also taken calibrated steps towards rationalising fuel subsidies. Petrol is now fully decontrolled and that has worked well with petrol prices moving up and down with world prices. Diesel is moving gradually towards market based pricing over the next few months. The subsidy outflow on LPG has also been capped. All these steps have sent a message of serious intent on fiscal consolidation, which is well appreciated internationally.”

 In the petroleum sector, he said, investments worth $20 billion for exploration and production activities in 40 oil blocks had been held up for many years because of lack of security clearances. “The cabinet committee on investments (CCI) has made a difference. Clearances have been given for five blocks. We hope to resolves issues relating to another 31 blocks within the next two weeks.”

The CCI, he added,  has also streamlined the processes of granting environment and forest clearances for mega projects. Clearances for 12 coal mining projects have been fast tracked. These projects would add 37 Million Tonnes to our annual coal production.

 He admitted that the problem of fuel supply – both coal and gas - to power projects has been posing problems. “The Ministries are working to reach a resolution of these problems in a time-bound manner. I hope we will see results in the next three weeks.”
Other reform measures are also being contemplated. The Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Committee has made a number of recommendations, which will be carefully considered.

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