The commerce and industry ministry is hopeful of improvement in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in the coming months despite global headwinds, a senior government official said on Thursday.
Joint Secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Manmeet K Nanda said that usually investments and equity inflows improve towards the last quarter of a financial year.
FDI equity inflows into India contracted by 14 per cent to USD 26.9 billion during the April-September this fiscal, according to the DPIIT data.
The total FDI inflows (which includes equity inflows, re-invested earnings and other capital) too declined to USD 39 billion during the first six months of the current fiscal against USD 42.86 billion in the year-ago period.
She said that foreign inflows have a lot of effect because of the global slowdown that "we are seeing for the last 18 months...But we are hopeful, India has shown very great numbers compared to rest of the countries...So, we are hoping that we would be making up for all that would have been a drop by."
She was replying to a question about the reasons for the decline in FDI and the way forward.
Talking about the national single window system (NSWS), Nanda said that about 75,600 approvals were granted so far through this system out of over 1,23,000 applications received.
NSWS was soft-launched to all stakeholders and the public in September 2021 to provide a single platform to enable the identification and obtaining of approvals and clearances needed by investors, entrepreneurs, and businesses in India.
Out of 75,600 approvals, 57,850 approvals have been approved by the commerce ministry.
So far, 27 central ministries and departments have been onboarded on the system, besides 19 states and UTs.
"By March 31, 2023, we expect that all ministries and departments will be on-boarded and we expect that by April-May, we will on-boarded all states and UTs," she told reporters here.
NSWS has also onboarded various government schemes, including Vehicle Scrapping Policy, Indian Footwear and Leather Development Policy (IFLDP), and Sugar and Ethanol Policy.
Under these schemes, the system has facilitated more than 400 investors in applying for IFLDP applications, 25 investors have applied for registered vehicle scrapping facility applications and 19 investors have applied for automated testing station applications.
More than 2,000 investors have applied for various registrations under the Sugar and Ethanol Scheme of the Department of Food and Public Distribution, she said.
The joint secretary further said that active discussions are going on using Permanent Account Number (PAN) as a single business user ID for entering into the system to seek different clearances.
"There is already being a consensus on establishing PAN as the single business user ID and we are talking actively with different government t departments," she added.
On the number of pending FDI proposals particularly from China under Press Note 3 (PN3) of 2020, she said "pendency is probably the lowest at this point in time."
Under that press note, the government had made its prior approval mandatory for foreign investments from countries that share a land border with India to curb opportunistic takeovers of domestic firms following the COVID-19 pandemic.
"There is a mechanism through which all these proposals are viewed at. There is an inter-ministerial committee that looks at it...," she said.