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Liberalise FDI policy in health insurance: Survey

New Delhi, Feb 25 (Calcutta Tube) The economic survey for the current fiscal has favoured liberalising foreign direct investment (FDI) policies in services like health insurance, rural banking and higher education.

‘In case of services sector, a more conducive environment can be created by liberalising FDI in services like health insurance, rural banking and higher education as FDI inflows and trade in services have a close relationship,’ the survey said Thursday, a day ahead of the Union budget.

India’s services exports reached Rs.5.1 trillion ($102 billion) in 2008-09, a growth of 12.5 percent over the previous year.

But the impact of global slowdown has resulted in contraction of India’s services exports by 21.4 percent during April-September in the current fiscal while it grew 27.6 percent in the same period a year earlier.

The survey also favours rationalising taxes in services like shipping and telecom and calls for facilitating measures like single returns for service and excise tax and adminisration of the two by the same department.

‘Along with systematic marketing of services, collection and dissemination of market information by setting up a portal for services and streamlining the services data system could help the services sector in making further strides,’ the survey said.

The survey suggested encouraging venture capital in services and continuing with the present initiative on domestic regulations like licensing requirements and procedures which can help in the growth and export of services.

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