THE Indian government is reviewing the present guidelines for foreign direct investment (FDI) in telecom following the industry's demand that it be allowed to hire expatriates to fill top positions.
"We are looking at it...," Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath told the news agency, and added that the question of appointing expatriates was being examined in the context of whether it applied retrospectively or prospectively.
The appointment of expatriates came to the fore when some of the Indian telecom companies with no FDI at all appointed foreign citizens as Chief Executive Officers.
Tata Telecom is one such company.
The review was necessitated as present FDI guidelines state that companies cannot have expats as Chief Executive, Chief Technology and Chief Financial Officer. The policy also does not mention categorically, if the rules applied to entities which appointed expats before the 74 per cent foreign direct investment was allowed.
Industry Ministry, which has received representations from some sections of the industry seeking flexibility with regard to guideline not being made applicable retrospectively, has favoured this view.
The Ministry has moved a note to Communications Ministry, which in turn has sent it to Department of Economic Affairs to solicit its views, official sources said.
Under the FDI guidelines notified in November last year, telecom companies have been given four months to comply with it.