Government liberalises FDI regime, nod for 49 per cent foreign investment in Air India

The central government has relaxed foreign direct investment (FDI) norms for Air India, which is currently undergoing divestment. According to the revised norms, foreign airlines are permitted to invest up to 49 per cent in the airline, either directly or indirectly. As a result, the majority ownership and effective control of Air India will continue to vest with Indian nationals. Earlier, foreign airlines were allowed to own as much as 49 per cent of local carriers, but Air India being a PSU was kept out of the purview. Further, the government has allowed foreign portfolio investors to purchase stakes of up to 49 per cent in power exchanges directly under the automatic route. So far, investors were restricted to investments in the secondary market.