Budget 2019-20:- KYC norms for FPIs to be eased; Listing norms for social enterprises

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said KYC norms would be eased for foreign portfolio investors and proposed allowing the listing of social enterprises and voluntary organisations to help them raise funds. Presenting her maiden budget, she also said steps need to be taken to bring capital markets closer to the people and proposed raising the threshold for minimum public shareholding from 25 per cent to 35 per cent. She said a number of steps would be taken in consultation with the RBI and Sebi to deepen the corporate bond market.

Announcing a number of measures related to capital markets, Sitharaman said investments by FIIs and FPIs in debt securities would be allowed to be transferred and sold to domestic investors in a timely manner and also proposed FPI investment in debt securities issued by NBFCs. She said a harmonised and hassle-free investment environment needs to be provided to foreign portfolio investors and KYC norms for them would be rationalised and simplified to be made more investment-friendly, without compromising on the integrity of cross-border capital flows. She said the listing of social enterprises and voluntary organisations would be allowed on a new electronic fund-raising platform, a social stock exchange, to help in raising of funds by those working for social welfare objectives.

Among other proposals, she said NRI portfolio route would be merged with the FPI route for seamless investment in stock markets. "Inter-operability of RBI depositories and Sebi depositories is necessary for seamless transfer of treasury bills and the government will take necessary measures in this regard in consultation with the RBI and the Sebi," she said.

Sitharaman said the government is contemplating global investors meet using national infrastructure fund as an anchor to get all three sets of global stakeholders. Credit Guarantee Enhancement Corp will be set up in 2019-20, action plan to deepen markets for long-term bonds with a specific focus on infra sector to be put in place, she said. Sitharaman also said Rs 350 crore has been allocated for 2 per cent interest subvention for all GST-registered MSMEs on fresh or incremental loans. India requires capital of about Rs 20 lakh crore every year, the finance minister added.

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