US India Business Council to pitch for raising FII limit; Ease of doing business !


Mumbai, Nov 3 (PTI): To mobilise overseas fund flows in Indian capital markets, a delegation of the US India Business Council (USIBC) will meet government officials this week to suggest streamlining procedures for foreign investors as well as increase their investment limits in listed companies.

The delegation which includes US treasury officials, would also pitch for relaxing the cap on foreign investors on buying government of India securities and discuss ways to improve the country’s debt markets.

They would be meeting markets regulator Sebi officials today to discuss the issues.

“Today, it is very hard to invest in India, it’s a nightmare, too much paper work, too many rules, bureaucracy,” USIBC capital markets working group chairperson Sumir Chadha told reporters here.

“This government has taken lot of positive steps to improve that so we are going to give lot of concrete suggestions on how to achieve ease of doing business in the capital markets,” he added.

The delegation also plans to discuss ease of doing business with government officials and Reserve Bank of India in next couple of days. It will pitch for raising the single 10 per cent FII limit to at least 15-20 per cent.

“Increase the FII limit in listed companies from 10 per cent to 15-20 per cent. That would overnight attract a lot of capital,” Chadha said.

“Other things could include requiring less paperwork for the investors,” he added.

Noting that the government needs to have lesser restriction in foreign investment in the bond market, Chadha said that offshore investors want to buy a lot more government of India bonds but can not because there is a cap.

“They have increased the limit but it is still very small. In the long run, it would be better not to have any cap… the cap can be done away with in phases,” he said.

In an address, US Treasury assistant secretary for international finance Ramin Toloui said, “this week we will also be sharing the lessons that the US has learnt in building up our own capital markets including a robust corporate bond and municipal debt market”.