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Thursday, December 20, 2007

24% investment cap on SSIs removed - FDI

Dear All,

24% investment cap on SSIs removed - FDI

As per existing provisions, FDI is allowed upto 24% of capital in SSI units, if SSI units wants to take additional FDI over and above 24%, then it needs to sacrifice SSI status and can go to upto the sectoral cap as specified under FEMA Regulations for that particular business/industry.

As per recent announcement by Commerce Ministry, 24% of Investment cap is removed for SSI. So that now SSI can go upto sectoral cap as specified under FEMA regulation under automatic route without losing their status as SSI..

Extract from BS – 19-12-2007

In a development, which is likely to increase participation of foreign players and big companies in small-scale industries (SSIs), the government has formally announced doing away with the 24 per cent investment cap in the sector.

However, industry sources remained sceptical about the move as cheap imports from countries like China has made production of many goods exclusively reserved for the sector unviable.

To make this move effective, the government has taken a decision to repeal a restrictive clause, which limits equity participation in SSIs to 24 per cent.

Announcing the development, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said: "This will lead to technology infusion in the sector as more and more foreign players and large companies set up their own SSI units."

The government notification will enable big industrial houses, both from the country and abroad, to set up SSI units in the sector, which has been restricted because of a limit of 24 per cent equity participation by other companies.

An industrial unit is classified as an SSI when the investments is within Rs 5 crore. At present, there are 114 goods that are exclusively reserved for the sector.

"The doing away of the investment limit means that the de-reservation process of SSIs, which started in 1967, is complete. Thus large corporate houses will be able to set up SSI units in both reserved and unreserved products," said Anil Bhardwaj, secretary general of Federation of Indian Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises.

But he also added that this move is inconsequential in terms of effective benefits for the SSI sector: "Cheap imports have made production of many reserved items unviable. Indian SSIs are not able to compete with international companies in the domestic market."

Reserved items in the sector include electric tea and coffee maker as well as pens, which are being imported in large quantities.
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