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A consensus expected on the ongoing review of FDI norms for telecom services

May 15, 2006
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Aconsensus seems to be emerging on the ongoing review of FDI norms for telecom services. The group of ministers looking into the matter is proposing to include two sets of conditions –­ one applicable to companies that have up to 49 per cent foreign investment and the other for companies that have up to 74 per cent foreign investment. However, telecom operators claim this move would be "discriminatory" and would seriously erode the confidence of foreign investors in the Indian telecom sector. The government also has to consider other key issues, such as the clause barring "remote access" to Indian networks for overseas carriers and the clause mandating that only resident Indians can occupy key management posts like the CEO and CFO, which will reduce the flow of foreign funds into the country.

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