Consolidated FDI Policy (Effective From October 15, 2020)


Consolidated FDI Policy (Effective From October 15, 2020)

Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade
Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Government of India

Consolidated FDI Policy
(Effective from October 15, 2020)\

Government of India
Ministry of Commerce & Industry
Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade
(FDI Division)

Consolidated FDI Policy Circular of 2020

Subject: Consolidated FDI Policy

The “Consolidated FDI Policy” is attached.

2. This Circular will take effect from October 15, 2020

(Shailendra Singh)
Additional Secretary to the Government of India

1.1 Intent and Objective

1.1.1 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is considered as a major source of non-debt financial resource for the economic development. FDI flows into India have grown consistently since liberalization and are an important component of foreign capital since FDI infuses long term sustainable capital in the economy and contributes towards technology transfer, development of strategic sectors, greater innovation, competition and employment creation amongst other benefits. Therefore, it is the intent and objective of the Government of India to attract and promote FDI in order to supplement domestic capital, technology and skills for accelerated economic growth and development. FDI, as distinguished from Foreign Portfolio Investment, has the connotation of establishing a ‘lasting interest’ in an enterprise that is resident in an economy other than that of the investor.

1.1.2 The Government has put in place a policy framework on FDI, which is transparent, predictable and easily comprehensible. This framework is embodied in the Circular on Consolidated FDI Policy, which may be updated on an annual basis, to capture and keep pace with the regulatory changes, effected in the interregnum. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India makes policy pronouncements on FDI through Consolidated FDI Policy Circular/Press Notes/Press Releases which are notified by the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, Government of India as amendments to the Foreign Exchange Management (Non-Debt Instruments) Rules, 2019 under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (42 of 1999) (FEMA). These notifications take effect from the date of issue of Press Notes/ Press Releases, unless specified otherwise therein. In case of any conflict, the relevant Notification under Foreign Exchange Management (Non-Debt Instruments) Rules, 2019 will prevail. The payment of inward remittance and reporting requirements are stipulated under the Foreign Exchange Management (Mode of Payment and Reporting of Non-Debt Instruments) Regulations, 2019 issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The regulatory framework, over a period of time, thus, consists of FEMA and Rules/Regulations thereunder, Consolidated FDI Policy Circular, Press Notes, Press Releases, Clarifications, etc.

1.1.3 The present consolidation subsumes and supersedes all Press Notes/Press Releases/Clarifications/Circulars issued by the DPIIT, which were in force as on October 15, 2020 and reflects the FDI Policy as on October 15, 2020. This Circular accordingly will take effect from October 15, 2020 and will remain in force until superseded in totality or in part thereof. Reference to any statute or legislation made in this Circular shall include modifications, amendments or re-enactments thereof.

1.1.4 Notwithstanding the rescission of earlier Press Notes/Press Releases/Clarifications/Circulars, anything done or any action taken or purported to have been done or taken under the rescinded Press Notes/Press Releases/Clarifications/Circulars prior to October 15, 2020, shall, in so far as it is not inconsistent with those Press Notes/Press Releases/Clarifications/Circulars, and applicable provisions under the FEMA and Rules/Regulations thereunder, be deemed to have been done or taken under the corresponding provisions of this circular and shall be valid and effective.

2.1 DEFINITIONS

2.1.1 ‘AD Category-I Bank’ means a bank (Scheduled Commercial, State or Urban Cooperative) which is authorized under Section 10(1) of FEMA to undertake all current and capital account transactions according to the directions issued by the RBI from time to time.

2.1.2 ‘Authorized Bank’ shall have the meaning assigned to it under the Foreign Exchange Management (Deposit) Regulations, 2016.

2.1.3 ‘Authorized Dealer’ means a person authorized as an authorized dealer under sub-section (1) of section 10 of FEMA.

2.1.4 ‘Automatic route’ means the entry route through which investment by a person resident outside India does not require the prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India or the Central Government.

2.1.5 ‘Capital’ means equity shares; fully, compulsorily & mandatorily convertible preference shares; fully, compulsorily & mandatorily convertible debentures and warrants.

Note: The equity shares issued in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act, as applicable, shall include equity shares that have been partly paid. Preference shares and convertible debentures shall be required to be fully paid, and should be mandatorily and fully convertible. Further, ‘warrant’ includes Share Warrant issued by an Indian Company in accordance with the regulations by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013.

2.1.6 ‘Capital account transaction’ means a transaction which alters the assets or liabilities, including contingent liabilities, outside India of persons resident in India or assets or liabilities in India of persons resident outside India, and includes transactions as per Section 6 of FEMA.

2.1.7 ‘Competent Authority’ means the concerned Administrative Ministry/Department empowered to grant government approval for foreign investment under the extant FDI Policy and FEMA Rules/Regulations.

2.1.8 ‘Control’ shall include the right to appoint a majority of the directors or to control the management or policy decisions, exercisable by a person or persons acting individually or in concert, directly or indirectly, including by virtue of their shareholding or management rights or shareholders agreements or voting agreements. For the purposes of Limited Liability Partnership, ‘control’ will mean right to appoint majority of the designated partners, where such designated partners, with specific exclusion to others, have control over all the policies of the LLP.

2.1.9 ‘Convertible Note’ means an instrument issued by a startup company acknowledging receipt of money initially as debt, which is repayable at the option of the holder, or which is convertible into such number of equity shares of such startup company, within a period not exceeding five years from the date of issue of the convertible note, upon occurrence of specified events as per the other terms and conditions agreed to and indicated in the instrument.

2.1.10 ‘Depository Receipt’ (DR) means a foreign currency denominated instrument, whether listed on an international exchange or not, issued by a foreign depository in a permissible jurisdiction on the back of eligible securities issued or transferred to that foreign depository and deposited with a domestic custodian and includes ‘global depository receipt’ as defined in the Companies Act, 2013.

2.1.11 ‘Domestic Custodian’ means a custodian of securities registered with the SEBI in accordance with the SEBI (Custodian of Securities) Regulations, 1996.

2.1.12 ‘Domestic Depository’ means a custodian of securities registered with the SEBI and authorised by the issuing entity to issue Indian depository receipts.

2.1.13 ‘ESOP’ means ‘Employees’ stock option’ as defined under the Companies Act, 2013 and issued in accordance with the Companies Act, 2013 and SEBI regulations, as applicable.

2.1.14 ‘Erstwhile Overseas Corporate Body’(OCB) means a company, partnership firm, society and other corporate body owned directly or indirectly to the extent of at least sixty percent by non-resident Indians and includes overseas trust in which not less than sixty percent beneficial interest is held by non-resident Indians directly or indirectly but irrevocably and which was in existence on the date of commencement of the Foreign Exchange Management (Withdrawal of General Permission to Overseas Corporate Bodies (OCBs) Regulations, 2003 and immediately prior to such commencement was eligible to undertake transactions pursuant to the general permission granted under the regulations under FEMA.

2.1.15 ‘Foreign Currency Convertible Bond’ (FCCB) means a bond issued under the Issue of Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds and Ordinary Shares (Through Depository Receipt Mechanism) Scheme, 1993, as amended from time to time.

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