Government confirms, issues details on telecoms FDI relaxation

7 Oct 2021

The Indian government’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has issued a statement confirming a decision to allow 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in the ownership of all telecom services and telecom infrastructure providers via the ‘automatic’ route of approval, compared to the current 49% automatic approval threshold, as part of the telecom reforms package announced on 15 September. As reported by the Economic Times, the decision qualifies all telecom services/infrastructure ‘Category-I’ providers (including Basic, Cellular, United Access Services, Unified licence [Access services] and other relevant operators as permitted by the Department of Telecommunications) for 100% foreign ownership under the automatic route, whereas previously FDI beyond 49% required prior clearance by the government’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board. A caveat remains, however, that all FDI in telecom services will be subject to the provisions of Para 3.1.1 of the FDI Policy which requires any FDI from a country sharing India’s land border to be first approved by the government.

India, Department of Telecommunications (DoT)