Investment Opportunities in India

July 2, 2013

Investment options in Indian energy sector

Energy plays a key factor in determining the economic development of all countries. The Indian energy sector has witnessed a rapid growth in order to meet the demands of a developing nation. Areas like resource exploration and exploitation, capacity additions, and energy sector reforms have been revolutionized.

Energy sector in India comprises of both non-renewable (coal, lignite, petroleum and natural gas) and renewable energy sources (wind, solar, small hydro, biomass, cogeneration bagasse etc.).

India has retained its position in top five world wind energy markets in 2012. The country remained the third largest market for new turbines in 2012 with capacity addition of 2,441 megawatt (MW), according to World Wind Energy Report 2012. World’s wind turbine capacity addition grew at 19 per cent to 44,609 MW.

Major investments in Indian energy sector

The investment climate is very positive for investors in India. The power sector has witnessed a surge of higher investment flows than envisaged. The Ministry of Power has set a target for adding 76,000 MW of electricity capacity in the 12th Plan (2012-17) and 93,000 MW in the 13th Plan (2017-22).

Some of the major investments in the Indian energy sector:

  • National Aluminium Company Ltd (Nalco) has set up its second wind power plant in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan with a capacity of 47.6 MW. The Rs 283 crore wind power project is being executed through Gamesa Wind Turbines Private Ltd
  • Coal India Ltd (CIL) plans to invest Rs 340 crore to embark on the second round of exploration at Mozambique coal blocks
  • Jakson Power Solutions has won two new orders for installing solar rooftop systems in Bengaluru and Pune. The first order is to set up the 80 kilowatt peak (KWp) solar rooftop unit with a facility of battery back-up at Karnataka State Disaster Management Centre, Bengaluru, said Mr Sundeep Gupta, Joint Managing Director, Jakson Power Solutions
  • Vikram Solar plans to put up a 10 MW power plant at Tamil Nadu (TN) under the second phase of the state’s solar policy
  • Mytrah Energy Ltd plans to acquire 59.75 MW of existing operational wind power assets in Tamil Nadu (TN) and Maharashtra. The company expects to have a capacity of 370 MW against previously anticipated 334 MW by 2013 wind season

Government Initiatives to promote investments in the energy sector

The Government has initiated several policies to attract investors in India to invest in the Indian energy sector. To accelerate capacity addition, several policy initiatives have been undertaken by the Ministry of Power. The National Electricity Policy (NEP) in fact, stipulates power for all and annual per capita consumption of electricity to rise to 1,000 units by 2012.

Some of the major investments taken by the Government of India to garner investments in the energy sector are as follows:

  • Foreign direct investments (FDI) up to 100 per cent is permitted under automatic route for projects of electricity generation (except atomic energy), transmission, distribution and power trading
  • Under the Union Budget 2013-14, the Government of India has approved a scheme for the financial restructuring of DISCOMS to restore the health of the energy sector in India
  • In a boost to power firms with plans to set up units in Special Economic Zones (SEZ), the Government has exempted them from the positive net foreign exchange (NFE) obligation applicable to regular units in such enclaves

Investment options in India, one of the most attractive economies in the world

The Indian economy continues to grow at a good pace and holds a strong position. Indiaís economy is amongst the largest in the world on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP). It is today one of the most attractive destinations for business investment opportunities with the available large manpower base, diversified natural resources and strong macroeconomic fundamentals. During April-January 2012-13, India received foreign direct investments (FDI) worth US$ 30.82 billion while FDI equity inflows during January 2013 stood at US$ 2.16 billion, according to latest data released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

India is the third-most attractive destination for FDI in the world. Indian markets have significant potential and a favorable regulatory regime for foreign investors, according to a survey titled World Investment Prospects Survey 2012ñ2014 by UNCTAD.

“We are keen to see FDI investment to surge in India and to that end, a favourable business climate will be helpful in going forward. We are encouraged to see there is a continued path towards fiscal consolidation,” according to Ms Christine Lagarde, Chief, International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Changes made by the Mr P Chidambaram, Union Minister for Finance, Government of India, in the Union Budget 2013-14 can greatly benefit high net worth individuals looking to invest in India, where returns on investments are higher than in any other market.

Key sectors in India where foreign investors can invest

India has become a trillion dollar economy with a self-sufficient agricultural sector, a varied industrial base and a well-established financial and services sector. There are numerous sectors that offer lucrative business opportunities in India. Some of the key investment sectors are:

  • Aerospace & Defence
  • Automotive
  • Banking
  • Biotechnology
  • Information Technology
  • Insurance
  • Power
  • Real Estate
  • Retail
  • Telecommunications

Government Initiatives in supporting business investments opportunities in India

In order to enable investors to have the complete benefit of available business opportunities in India, the Government of India has taken following initiatives:

  • The Government of India has relaxed in expense ratios for mutual funds and the prospects of higher FDI limits in insurance sectors could unlock huge opportunities in these investment sectors.
  • The Government has allowed Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs) ó individuals, groups or associations ó to invest directly in Indian equities and bond markets.
  • To encourage the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the Government of Tamil Nadu (TN) has announced a special component package, which includes creation of an additional land bank for setting up new industrial estates in the state, increase in subsidy for machinery purchases and creation of a single window clearance committee to facilitate speedy approvals for industrial estates, said Ms J Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (TN).

Investment facilitation in India

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has set up an Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC) as a not-for-profit-trust, to facilitate non-resident Indians (NRIs), overseas corporate bodies of overseas Indians and non-resident Indians who want to invest in India.

In order to ease the process for foreign investors to invest in India, OIFC has developed an online toolkit – Investment Guide to India. The toolkit serves as a simple, practical and stage-wise investment guide for the non-resident Indians wanting to invest in India.

Investment opportunities in Indian states

India is one of the oldest civilisations in the world with diverse cultural heritage. It is divided into twenty eight States and seven Union Territories (UT). Each and every Indian states and UTs has a unique demography, history, language etc. which provides various investment opportunities. These states/UTs are blessed with large number of tourist places – beautiful landscapes, wildlife and forests, hills, plateaus, valleys, monuments, forts, palaces, temples, etc. Tourism is the major source for investments in Kerala.

States and UTs of India are also gifted with distinct inherent strengths – from abundant supply of mineral resources and large forest reserves to the availability of good fertile lands, which are suitable for growing variety of agricultural and horticultural crops.

Several global majors are present in these States which brings large investments into the country. These companies/ industries are confined to iron and steel, cement, textiles, agro-processing, mineral-based industries, drugs and pharmaceuticals, chemicals, electronics, automobiles, etc. Pharmaceuticals and automobiles are the major source of investments in Gujarat.

Information technology (IT) is now being recognized as an essential part of the economy by the various State Governments, thereby attracting new players into the market. IT revolution is committed to provide good governance that ensures transparency, reduction in transaction costs, efficiency and citizen centric delivery of public services. Therefore, the Government is making all efforts to facilitate the growth of such industries and promote overall development of the economy.

Major investment states of India

Haryana: Due to its strategic location, Haryana has been recognised as a business-friendly State. Panipat, Rohtak, Gurgaon, Faridabad and Sonepat have a special potential for accelerated socio-economic development. Land and water are the important resources of the State, making it an agriculturally rich State. Large number of food grains and horticultural crops are produced, by using available irrigation facilities.

Kerala: The State of Kerala constitutes one of the most advanced society of the country. Its literacy rate is the highest among the Indian States. The State has several advantageous features – pro-active administrative set up, simple and transparent procedures for investment, rich natural resource base, educated and hardworking manpower, including the highest density of science and technology personnel, etc. The Government has taken several policy measures and incentives for attracting investments in Kerala.

Punjab: Punjab is a land of numerous opportunities which are embedded in its advantageous position. These include:

  • Simple and responsive administrative set-up
  • Educated and professional work force with abundance of skilled workers
  • Strong agricultural and industrial base
  • Efficient infrastructural set up including transportation, telecommunication, stable and cheap power

Gujarat: Gujarat is the leading industrialized State of India. It houses a number of multinational corporations, private sector companies, public sector enterprises and a large number of medium and small scale units. It is a manufacturing powerhouse with world-class production capabilities. Textiles, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals are some of the few sectors which attracts investment in Gujarat. The State is also known for its entrepreneurial spirit as well as robust social and physical infrastructure.

Andhra Pradesh: Andhra Pradesh is the resourceful land of minerals which includes coal, oil and natural gas, bauxite, limestone, gold, diamonds and much more. It is an agriculturally-prosperous State, endowed with fertile land, water and conducive agro-climatic conditions. It is among the largest producers of food grains, fruits, vegetables, cotton, maize, dairy and poultry products in the country.

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