Investment Opportunities in India

January 4, 2013

Policies for foreign investors to do business in India

“India is clearly becoming a more and more important player on the world stage in G20 context, in terms of its role in the global economy. It is very useful for us to exchange ideas and build the basis for future collaboration,” according to Mr Ben Bernanke, Chairman, US Federal Reserve.

India is the fifth best country in the world with dynamic growing businesses opportunities for non-resident Indians (NRIs). The Grant Thornton Global Dynamism Index gives a reflection of how suitable an environment it offers for dynamic businesses.

Scenario of Indian Economy

The Indian economy continues to grow at a good pace and holds a strong position on the global map. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) has been growing at an average rate of 8.5 per cent for the last five years.

India’s economy is amongst the largest in the world on the basis of Purchasing Power Parity. It is today one of the most attractive destinations for business and investment opportunities for NRIs and foreign investors with the available large manpower base, diversified natural resources and strong macroeconomic fundamentals. In FY 2011-12, the country attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) of around US$ 46.8 billion in various sectors.

The economy of India also boasts a robust financial system and deep capital markets. India’s demographic are very attractive with approximately 65 per cent of the total population falling in the age group of 15 to 64 years.

Foreign investment framework of India

The foreign direct investment (FDI) regime has been progressively liberalised during the course of the 1990s and continues to do so in the 2000s, with most restrictions on foreign investment being removed and procedures simplified. Foreign investors can invest directly and do business in India, either on their own or as a joint venture.

Some of the features of the consolidated FDI Policy of India and incentives offered by it:

  • Indian companies are permitted to issue equity shares, fully, compulsorily and mandatorily convertible debentures (FCD’s) and compulsorily and mandatorily convertible preference shares (CCPS) to the non-residents subject to pricing guidelines/valuation norms prescribed under FEMA
  • Foreign investment is calculated on the basis of ownership and control of the Indian company.
  • Use of foreign brand names/trademarks is permitted for the sale of goods in India
  • “Single window” clearance facilities and “investor escort services” are available in various states to simplify the approval process for new ventures

Sole proprietorship in India

Sole proprietorship is the oldest and most common form of business. It is a one-man organisation where a single individual owns, manages and controls the whole business. An NRI or a person of Indian origin (PIO) residing outside India is allowed to do business in India through a sole proprietorship concern. The investment should be made on non–repatriation basis subject to satisfying certain other conditions.

Tax Incentives in India

The Government of India, for the purpose of accelerated growth of the Indian economy, has extended incentives in the form of tax holiday, deductions, rebates etc under the direct/indirect taxes. Primarily, such incentive relates to export promotion, new industrial undertaking, infrastructure facilities, software industry, research, promotion of backward areas etc.

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