Industry calls for 100% automatic FDI in satellites

Global satellite builders and communications service providers have called on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to launch 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through an automated route to draw billions of dollars from Amazon, Elon Musk’s rocket engines into space / satellite broadband sectors ) Allow. Producers SpaceX, Hughes and Telsat, among others.

Experts say that all FDI proposals in space for satellites are currently screened for the Department of Space (DoS) and its internal panel, the authority of the Indian satellite system, a scenario in which large FDI proposals are placed.

Industry calls for 100% automatic FDI in satellites

“The commercial satellite broadband segment is attracting billions of dollars worldwide from companies such as SpaceX, Amazon, Hughes, Inmarsat, Telesat and Viasat, and to attract this investment in India, we recommend 100 under the automated route % FDI be allowed “In a May 28 letter to Sitharaman, TV Ramachandran, president of Broadband India Forum (BIF), said.

This, he said, would enable these top global players to set up Indian private companies for participation in space activities. BIF counts Amazon, Hughes, Viasat, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Google, Facebook, AT&T and Apple among its major global members.

Industry calls for 100% automatic FDI in satellites
Sitharaman said the letter comes barely a fortnight later, stating that a new policy and regulatory regime will be created for private-level builders, launchers and space-based service providers to invest aggressively in India .

Ramachandran said, “Although (India’s) current policy allows 100% FDI in satellites, no one has been allowed so far, subject to government approval, for both installation and operation.” ET has seen a copy of the letter.

For instance, the US-based Hughes’ $ 500 million (Rs 3,800 crore) FDI proposal to build a satellite communications system in India has not been received for nearly four years, while Hughes sought intervention from the Prime Minister’s Office two years ago. Had. .

“If FDI is allowed through automatic route, this issue can be resolved,” a top industry official said.

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