"This is a clear and strong message that reforms are not only on track but are going to be aggressive. For the markets and for industry, there could not have been a better Diwali gift," CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said in a statement.

The association said the relaxation comes at a time when the country needs to attract as much investment as possible to create jobs and move the economy to a higher growth trajectory. It opined that the move will be 'immensely helpful' in boosting the investment environment in the country.

"We understand that the crux of these reforms is to further ease, rationalize and simplify the process of foreign investments in the country and put more and more FDI proposals on the automatic route instead of the approval route, and that is most welcome as an approach," said Sumit Mazumder, the industry body's President.

"Today's announcement is yet another huge step in making it easier to do business in India," the statement said the FDI relaxation in some of the most critical sectors of the economy augurs, well to bring in vibrancy in the sectors in the midst of a depressed global economic sentiment.

Defense, construction, civil aviation and media are some of the key sectors where foreign investment have been liberalized more while norms for sectors including single brand retail and private banking have been eased.

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