767 pre-operational licences needed for business in India; slash this regime to let FDI help economy

767 pre-operational licences needed for business in India; slash this regime to let FDI help economy

As India steps up efforts to attract foreign companies to invest in the country, it will have to remove many barriers related to ease of doing business, tax, and regulations.  Speaking at the ‘Investments into India and the USA’ webinar, organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) and Invest India, Dave Springsteen, Partner, Withum, said that the barrier in India stems from the lack of single-window clearance for investors. He added that foreign businesses that seek to develop roots in India have to face a committee of secretaries from 35 central ministries or departments, besides an overall regime of 767 establishments pre-operational licences. That’s beyond all inspections, approvals, and renewals needed after the work begins, he further said.

Some of the representatives of US businesses highlighted that India needs to create the right environment, right now to entice global companies exiting China for other international locations. In order to give India a chance to thrive economically post-Covid, the country needs to pull up socks and act now to allow ease of doing business, reduce tax and regulation bottlenecks and aid foreign companies who are exiting their bases from China, said the official statement.

Business representatives from both sides brainstormed strategies to ease international business to India, boost Indo-American economic cooperation, and look at two-way measures to benefit both the economies. It was also discussed why India needs to develop the art of visualisation as it is not easy to uproot all of the current investments from China to India overnight. Though the Indian government recently announced various perks and cooperations for the foreign firms who are willing to invest in India, the country is poised to face competition from other South-east Asian countries, like Vietnam, which is very welcoming to foreign companies.

Further, the group also brainstormed on areas where Indo-US collaboration would work in a better way. Services will see a huge upsurge – technology, media and entertainment, telecom, pharma, healthcare, medical devices, agrotech, and IoT, the statement added. Two prominent areas were more foreign firms can participate in India were found out to be defence and healthcare. “I’ve seen a four-fold increase in American ventures seeking Indian partners in defence and three times in healthcare”, said Hoonar Janu, Co-Head (Americas), Invest India.

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