FDI Policy-NIC Code-Data-India

Back in 2015, DIPP set out a discussion paper in which it asked for comments and suggestions from the stakeholders/investors for further improvement.

Based on the existing Discussion Paper on the `Mapping of the FDI Policy  with NIC Code 2008′, I made the following suggestions which were submitted before the deadline of 30th November, 2015:

1. India follows the National Industrial Classification (latest revision available for 2008). However, this is a national classification. However, the international community follows an internationally recognized nomenclature such as the Standard Industrial Trade Classification (SITC), the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC), amongst others. The international classifications are based on activities and products. These classifications can be accessed at http://unstats.un.org/unsd/cr/registry/regct.asp. Currently, there exists no concordance table for merging NIC with any available international nomenclature like SITC or ISIC. This means that if a want to map this information with other existing international trade and investment data available in the public sphere (for instance, international trade data available at WITS), it is not possible. Therefore, my suggestion is that:
    1.1. Either add an additional column which provides the international classification code such as ISIC or SITC alongside the NIC 2008 codes. Alternatively, you can
     1.2  Provide with a concordance table of NIC with other existing international nomenclatures so that merging of data is feasible.
2. The table should also have an additional column which explains the extent of automatic or approval route. For example, take sector 6.2.7.1.2 (Cable Networks – Other MSOs not undertaking upgradation of networks towards digitilization and addressability and Local Cable Operators (LCOs)). The discussion paper on `Mapping of the FDI Policy with NIC 2008′ identifies this sector as `automatic’. However, Press Note on `Review of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy on various issues‘ states that FDI in this sector is allowed up to 49% through automatic route, and through government route beyond 49%. Hence, in sectors where such a disaggregation is possible, such information should be provided in an additional column.
3. The Government of India is committed to Open Government Data which also falls under its Digital India Programme. Keeping its commitment under these flagship programmes, the following should be adhered:
   3.1. Provide meta-data which provides all the information such as links to the FDI Consolidated Policy and the NIC Code 2008.
   3.2. Provide the table in an open data format like .xlsx or .csv
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While the government is still working to align the FDI Policy with the NIC code (newspaper coverage on 1st August, 2016), it won’t harm to take some of these recommendations into consideration.
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