Foreign Investment Restrictions (eg CFIUS or similar)

  1.  What are the restrictions on foreign direct investment?


Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India is permitted up to 100% in most sectors under automatic route without requiring prior approval of the government. However, in some sectors prior approval of the government is required for making investment up to a certain limit or beyond a prescribed threshold. For example, in Defense Sector and Telecom Sector –FDI up to 100% is allowed, however, FDI beyond 49% requires prior approval of the Government of India. In Private Security Agencies, Healthcare (Brownfield), Pharmaceuticals (Brownfield) and Biotechnology (brownfield), FDI up to 100% is allowed, however, FDI above 74% requires prior approval of the Government of India.

Besides, there are nine (9) sectors wherein FDI is prohibited. Such sectors inter-alia include Lottery Business, Gambling and betting, Chit funds, and Nidhi Company, Real Estate Business, and Atomic energy/Railway operations.

Exchange Control or Currency Regulations

 Q2) What are the legislations which govern foreign direct investment?

Foreign exchange in India is regulated by Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 and the regulations made thereunder and also the guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India from time to time. Besides, India also has money laundering laws.

Grants or Incentives

 Q3) What benefits or incentives are available to a foreign investor?

Wide range of incentive schemes are made available to investors (both domestic and foreign) to provide fiscal and non-fiscal benefits. However, no grants or incentives have been introduced specifically for foreign investors. Generally, these incentives are provided for locating units in certain designated areas or establishing units in certain sectors, e.g., power, infrastructure.

Benefits are available, both from Federal and State Governments, in the form of concessional taxes, both direct and indirect taxes, reduced cost of setting up of units in specified areas, etc.



Ravi Singhania joined the panel of distinguished speakers on opportunities in Indian Infrastructure Sector at Australian High Commission, New Delhi in an event organised by  Australia, New Zealand, and India Business Association (ANZIBA) New Delhi on Thursday, 29 Aug 2019.  The gathering comprised of Indian and Australian businesses along with members of Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade).  


Ravi shed light on the umpteen opportunities for Indo- Australian partnership in India’s infrastructure sector and Indian Dispute Resolution System. Furthermore, he drew attention of the fellow panelists and the audience on the growing interest of international investors in India’s infrastructure sector. Click on the video here.  

Other speakers in the panel discussion included, Arun  Bhagat, President- Corporate Affairs & Advocacy, GMR Group;  Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Foreign Editor Hindustan Times;  Saurabh  Khanna, Director, President & HOD (Business  Development);  lsha Rathee, Senior Associate from Populous Design Private Limited (Indian arm of Australian  Company); and Munish  Sharma, Australia Trade Commissioner for South India



Ravi Singhania Managing Partner of Singhania & Partners was a panelists at the 14th Annual Conference on ROAD DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA which was organised by organized by India Infrastructure Publishing  from Monday,  26 Aug 2019 to Wednesday, 28 Aug 2019. Ravi shared his knowledge and experience of advising and representing   construction contractor in various arbitration and projects. He further elucidated the unresolved issues and challenges faced by construction contractors.


Ravi shedding light on the concerns of the construction contractors and further talking about the remedies to resolve them was well appreciated by his fellow panelists. Click on the video to more about the challenges faced and the strategies adopted to resolve the issues faced by contractors.


Some of the participants of the conference include Vivekananda Bridge Tollway Company, Sitech India, Sojitz India, SRF Limited, STP Limited, Strategic Marketing and Team, Sunil Chemicals, Tata Capital, Tata, Cleantech, Tata Finance Capital, Tata Hitachi Construction Machinery, Tata Steel, TCIL, Theme Engineering Service, TransAsia Infrastructure Group, Trimble Solution, India, Ultra Tech, NHAI.



Part 1

Part 2



Singhania & Partners LLP Solicitors and Advocates (S&P) has joined hands with Delhi-NCR’s prestigious Vivekananda School of Law and Legal Studies (VSLLS) of Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies affiliated to Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University to start a 20 week intensive training programme on “Legal Know-How for Startups”


The training programme will be beneficial for budding lawyers who want to develop specialisation in the field, Start-up founders, and students. It will equip the participants with the legal knowledge during the different life-stages of a start-up and everything that follows.


On the occasion of MoU signing ceremony, Mr. Ravi Singhania, Managing Partner, Singhania & Partners commented, “Starting up a new business venture is very exciting. At the same time, we regularly notice that our start-up clients face a lot of simple and complex issues surrounding cofounders, investors, intellectual property, early employees, mentors, and advisors. This programme is designed in such a manner that it will be equally beneficial for start-ups and budding lawyers who want to specialise in this field of practice”


 Mr. Subranghu Sanyal, CEO, IIM- Calcutta Innovation Park which has incubated a number of successful start-ups congratulated S&P and VIPS on this industry-academia collaboration initiative and quoted, “India is ranked as #4 Economy in providing an eco-system for budding start-ups. This programme is the need of the hour as there are a lot of legal issues faced by start-ups and attaining this legal knowledge is an investment in realizing your start-up dream where a small mistake in the important contracts can cost you millions”


Dr. Rashmi Salpekar, Dean-VSLLS quoted, “It is very important to know the laws relevant for start-ups in India. This extensive 20 hours training programme spread across 4-5 weeks will familiarise budding lawyers, start-up founders and students of all disciplines with legal knowledge for starting up a business in India during the different life-stages of a start-up and everything that follows.”


The training will be conducted at VSLLS by leading corporate attorneys of Singhania & Partners and who have rich experience in representing a number of successful start-up companies and incubation centres. The participants will be provided a certificate at the end of the training programme jointly certified by Singhania & Partners and VIPS.


The training program is commencing on 30th August 2019.   Download the Brochure  here:

Green Channel’ to expedite M&A approval, says govt committee; to boost ease of doing business

Green Channel’ to expedite M&A approval, says govt committee; to boost ease of doing business

(As appeared in Financial Express)


To further ease of doing business and encourage startups, the Competition Law Review Committee set up by the government in September last year has suggested a slew of measures.


To further ease of doing business and encourage startups, the Competition Law Review Committee set up by the government in September last year has suggested a slew of measures. The committee mandated to review the Competition Act and suggest recommendations “in view of changing business environment” has recommended launching a ‘Green Channel’ route for expediting approvals of ‘certain’ mergers and acquisitions (M&A) by moving towards “disclosure-based regime with strict consequences for not providing accurate or complete information,” Ministry of Corporate Affairs said on Wednesday. The Green Channel approval has also been recommended for M&As under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.


“Based upon their consultation with the CCI or based on the criteria they don’t have to wait for anything. Businesses can simply fill the required details, submit and carry out the M&A. It is just like an intimation,” Ravi Singhania, Managing Partner of Singhania & Partners told Financial Express Online.


Parties to the combination (M&A) may self-assess, based on specified criteria and pre-filling consultation with the Competition Commission of India (CCI), whether they qualify for notification under the Green Channel, the committee said. Herein, CII must be allowed to impose a penalty in case the company files incorrect or incomplete information. Also, the Green Channel route should become the de facto route the M&A notification and approval for majority cases, the committee added.


“For startups or small businesses, they won’t have to wait for months of regulatory approval and hence it would expedite the M&A process. Whether a startup or small business, the green channel is for those that will not affect competition in the market,” added Singhania.


It also suggested the introduction of necessary thresholds including a deal value threshold for merger notification. “Any new threshold must account for clear and objectively quantifiable standards for computing the necessary figure as well as local nexus criteria,” according to the report in order to ensure that transactions having a “significant economic link to India” are caught by the threshold.


In order to encourage self-compliance by companies, the committee said that it would be beneficial if annual reports of companies contain a disclosure regarding compliance with remedies. It also suggested updating the language of these provision including changing words such as foreign institutional investor and venture capital fund to foreign portfolio investor and alternative investment fund respectively categorised under SEBI’s AIF 1 category funds.