The Finance Minister of India (“FM") presented the Finance Bill, 2017 ("Union Budget") in Parliament. In his Budget Speech, the FM has announced that India is predicted to be one of the fastest growing economies in the FY 2017-18. It is now the 6th largest manufacturing economy in the world (as compared to 9th earlier). Foreign Direct Investment ("FDI") increased by 36% in the first half of 2016-17.
The FM has continued with reforms to make it easier to do business in India. A key highlight is the abolishment of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB); FIPB may be phased out by 2017-18. Over 90% of FDI proposals are now processed through the automatic route. A new FDI Policy is also under consideration. Also, the Government will be introducing reforms to simplify labour laws in India which should make India a more attractive place to invest.
All of this is positive news as the Indian Government led by PM Modi accelerates its "Make in India" policy.
In the latest outreach to foreign investors, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said in his budget speech that an agency often criticized for red tape, the Finance Ministry's Foreign Investment Promotion Board or FIPB, is being abolished.