India Is In a Position To Relax FDI Norms In space Industry in Bid To Give a Boost to Satcom

CIOTechOutlook Team | Monday, 25 September 2023, 06:06 IST

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To attract top dollars from marquee global investors in satellite communications, India is set to liberalize its foreign direct investment (FDI) policy for the space industry, allowing up to 74% overseas ownership through the automatic route and up to 100% through the government route.
 
Liberalized FDI limits are planned, allowing Indian companies to access cutting-edge global technologies in a variety of space-sector activities such as satellite manufacturing, satellite communications/operations, and local production of satellite components, user devices, and ground segment systems such as earth stations. Foreign direct investment of up to 49% in satellite launch vehicle and associated system operations may also be approved.
 
"We expect the new FDI policy for the space sector to be approved soon. For different space activities, foreign investment of 49% or 74% is likely to be permitted via the automatic route, and in most situations up to 100% through the government route will be permitted." Pawan Goenka, chairman, space industry regulator Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe).
 
The new FDI rules for the space sector will soon be notified by the Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade, which is working closely with IN-SPACe, the communications ministry and the Department of Space (DoS), as per economic times. 
 
Foreign ownership limits for the space services sector are likely to be relaxed along the lines of those implemented in the defense industry a few years ago, according to top industry leaders. IN-SPACe is heavily involved because it is the only single-window agency that can authorize both government and private satcom players' space activity. Unlike in the telecom sector, private satellite firms do not yet have access to the automatic FDI route.  

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