New Delhi: The government today allowed 100 per cent FDI in five plantation crops, mainly coffee, rubber, cardamom, palm oil tree and olive oil tree via automatic route, a move hailed by the industry. At present, 100 per cent FDI is allowed only in tea plantation through the government approval route. “In line with this sector, the government has decided to open certain other plantation activity namely, coffee, rubber, cardamom, palm oil tree and olive oil tree plantations also for 100 per cent foreign investment,” the Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a statement.
Foreign investment in the plantation sector would henceforth be under automatic route, it added. Welcoming the decision, Mumbai-based Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) Executive Director B V Mehta said, “Allowing FDI in palm oil tree is a welcome step and will boost domestic production.”
He, however, said that the benefit would be more if the government declares palm oil tree as a plantation crop and exempted from land ceiling act. The country produces annually around 3 lakh tonnes of coffee, over 8-9 lakh tonnes of rubber and about 17,000 tonnes of cardamom.