New Delhi: The Union Cabinet met on Wednesday to decide whether to abolish the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), a day after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti’s residences in Tamil Nadu, said reports.
The CBI raids were conducted as part of an inquiry to determine whether Chidambaram as Finance Minister illegally cleared foreign investment proposals for the benefit of his son.
While announcing the budget on February 1 this year, current Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that to make India an easier place to do business, FDI reforms would include abolishing the FIPB. The FIPB falls under the Finance Ministry.
Jaitley had said that a roadmap would be created in a few months on how applications for foreign investment should be handled.
The FIPB is likely to be abolished within a month of the cabinet’s approval, said an NDTV report. Relevant ministries and regulatory authorities would instead be given authority to approve or reject FDI proposals.
Companies seeking approval may be asked to apply online through a website, which would direct these applications to the concerned ministry, said the report.
Chidambaram, according to a case filed by the CBI against his son Karti, facilitated the violation of foreign investment laws by INX Media, owned by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea. While the FIPB allowed the firm to bring in FDI worth Rs 4 crores, a total of 305 crores was actually brought in, the CBI alleges.
Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, incidentally, are now in jail for the murder of the latter’s daughter....