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India to lift FDI restrictions in key sectors, including Telecoms and Insurance

The Indian government has approved plans to further ease restrictions on foreign investment in the country in a bid to shore up the weakening Indian rupee and boost growth.

The new plans will allow 100% foreign ownership in key sectors, including the booming telecommunications sector as well as the insurance industry and tea plantations.

The reforms still need clearance from the full cabinet.

In September last year, the government announced the opening up of India’s huge retail sector to foreign supermarkets, which led to protests in the streets from small shop owners.

Experts say attracting investment by companies such as Britain’s Vodafone is vital in improving the country’s flagging growth rate which fell to its’ lowest level in a decade in the latest quarter.

The Indian rupee has also fallen sharply in value in recent weeks, hitting an all-time low of 61.21 against the US dollar.

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