One of the major and critical acquisitions has been the M777 Ultra-Light Howitzers from the U.S.

The home ministry has also spelt out locations where foreign investment is not welcome such as those close to border and vital installations

NEW DELHI: The Home Ministry has given security clearance to more than 5,000 investment proposals, including Foreign Direct Investment, in the last four years, officials said today.

The ministry has expedited the security clearance procedure after completely revamping the entire process and relaxing various norms.

The home ministry granted security clearance to 815 investment proposals in 2014, 1,201 proposals in 2015 and 1,260 in 2016, a ministry official said.

In 2017, security clearances were given to around 1,200 investment proposals, the official said. In addition, 543 proposals were automatically cleared in 2015 due to implementation of the revised policy guidelines.

A spokesperson for the ministry said: "We have been clearing proposals for security clearance as it comes after due diligence. We only seek relevant information and the emphasis is always on to give security clearance as quickly as possible."

The objective of the national security clearance is to evaluate potential threats, visible or embedded, in proposals received by the home ministry and to provide a national risk assessment, another official said.

The Home Ministry has defined security rating parameters to evaluate the proposals uniformly.

The national security clearance policy was drawn up by the ministry to fast-track the security clearance process and complete it within 4-6 weeks upon receiving the application as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ease-of-doing-business mantra under the Make In India initiative.

As per the policy, the promoters, owners and directors of the company are mandated to give self declarations regarding any criminal history on their part, which reduced the period required to give security clearance from 2-3 months earlier to to just 4-6 weeks now.

Security inputs from the Intelligence Bureau, the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate and other agencies are sought only in cases of serious crimes and not in case of minor offences.

A total of 14-15 parameters have been set out in eight to nine sensitive areas like telecom, ports, civil aviation, up-linking / down-linking of TV channels or FM stations.

The home ministry has also spelt out locations where foreign investment is not welcome such as those close to border and vital installations.

Strict scrutiny is also being done to check if the promoters or directors of the company come from China and Pakistan or they are originally from these two countries.