Wipro to enter defence sector

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The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has given the nod to Wipro for the design, development and manufacture of defence related software and has further referred the matter for the finance minister’s approval. The case assumes importance as FIPB was earlier not clear whether approval from it was required for companies engaged in software activities in the defence sector. Accordingly, FIPB had directed the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to expeditiously conclude their deliberations in this regard. Moreover, the major issue related to the proposal was whether IT companies that want to get into defence related activities will be subjected to the cap of 26 per cent foreign direct investment, as is the norm in the sector. Under the current FDI norms, software companies with 100 per cent foreign equity can set up shop in India through the automatic route and can offer software services in the defence domain.

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