Union Budget 2019: Nirmala Sitharaman Advocates FDI Push to Make India 5 Trillion Dollar Economy by 2024, Mulls Structural Reforms
FDI announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Union Budget. (Photo Credit: File)

New Delhi, July 5: The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday presented her maiden Budget 2019 in the Parliament. Apart from announcing push in the agrarian sector, women empowerment, housing for all and revival in the education sector, she mentioned about the key reforms in Foreign Direct Investment. The minister opined that with this FDI push, structural changes would be made in order to make India a 5 billion dollar economy by 2024.

Asserting the Modi Government's aim to achieve a target of fiscal deficit of 3.3% by FY20, Sitharaman advocated Foreign Direct Investment in MSMEs, Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), PSUs, insurance intermediaries, aviation, NRI investment, among others. Other than this, Sitharaman proposed to return the regulations authority from NHB to RBI, with an intention to invest Rs 100 lakh crore in the next 5 years. The government will constitute a board to review and suggest measures, she added. Union Budget 2019 Key Highlights: Nirmala Sitharaman's Pandora Box Benefits Agrarian Sector, Women Empowerment, Education and Housing For All; Here's Entire list

Apart from the structural reforms, the Union Finance Minister stated that the Modi government want to open investment option in Exchange Traded Funds on the lines of equity-linked trading schemes to be offered to encourage long-term investment in CPSEs. She even mentioned that the Union Budget for FY 19-20, proposes to borrow abroad in foreign currency to fund government borrowing.

However, Rs 1.05 lakh crore divestment for FY 19-20 is also the target for the ruling dispensation and strategic divestment of PSUs is a priority, she added. With the aviation sector suffering loss, Sitharaman informed that the Union government mulling to consolidate non-finance central PSUs via mergers and raise foreign shareholding till maximum limit in PSUs.

Sitharaman mentioned that the ruling government would ease local sourcing norms for FDI single-brand retailing sector and it would be considered 100% FDI for insurance intermediaries. Creation of electronic fundraising platform for listing social enterprises and streamlining KYC norms for foreign portfolio investors is also on the cards. Lastly, to boost the FDI cap in aviation, media, insurance, Sitharaman stated that appropriate measures are being taken.