In the Union Budget 2019 announcement, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her speech that the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms in the media and AVGC (Animation, Visual effects, Gaming and Comics) industry will be relaxed in consultation with the industry.
The minister said, “I propose to further consolidate, the gains in order to make India more attractive FDI destination. The government will examine suggestions of further opening up of FDI in aviation, media, AVGC (Animation, Visual effects, Gaming and Comics) and insurance sector in consultation with stakeholders,” she said.
Speaking on this, Paavan Nanda, Co-Founder of an E-sports gaming platform WinZO Games, said “With its focus on job creation, start-ups, MSMEs, infrastructure, digital India and ease of business, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has presented a visionary Union Budget. The government’s proposal to relax FDI norms for the AVGC (Animation, Visual effects, Gaming and Comics) industry is a conscious move to attract additional foreign investment in the sector, which will lead to overall growth and sustenance.”
“The gaming industry is transforming rapidly, fueled by enhanced connectivity, changing modes of social interaction and a growing youth population. The steps proposed by the government will help companies re-look at their strategy and tap the immense potential of the industry. This will also expedite the growth & confidence in the overall sector,” he said.
Currently, 26% FDI is permitted with government approval in publishing of newspaper and periodicals dealing with news and current affairs; and publication of Indian editions of foreign magazines in news and current affairs.
The Finance Minister also announced that local sourcing norms for single brand retail sector will be eased.
Sitharaman said that India’s FDI inflows in 2018-19 grew by 6 per cent to USD 64.37 billion.