Currently, FDI up to 26 percent is permitted through automatic approval route. For FDI up to 49 percent, the approval of Foreign Investment Promotion Board is required.

According to sources, the government could announce this decision in the forthcoming Budget as the move would help in improving ease of doing business also.

At present, as many as 10 proposals, including that of ICICI Prudential Life, ICICI Lombard General Insurance and Aviva Life Insurance, are pending at different stages of  clearances.
    
There are 52 insurance companies operating in India, of which 24 are in the life insurance business and 28 in the general insurance. State-owned General Insurance Corporation (GIC), in addition, is the sole national reinsurer.

In order to deepen the re-insurance market, IRDAI permitted UK-based Lloyds to set up business in India.

Lloyds India will ensure that the market and the constituents are housed in one location for the conduct of reinsurance business.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country more than doubled to about USD 4.5 billion in December.

The major sectors that attracted foreign inflows include computer software and hardware, trading, services, automobile and telecommunications.

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