PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, 14 July
Foreign direct investment (FDI) into India increased 25 per cent year-on-year to $2.32 billion in April this year, the highest level in the past six months.
In April 2012, the country had received FDI worth $1.85 billion, according to data from the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP). In September 2012, foreign inflows were $4.67 billion.
The sectors that received large FDI inflows during the month under review include hotel and tourism ($2.32 billion), pharmaceuticals ($987 million), services ($238 million), chemicals ($51 million) and construction ($32 million), according to the data.
The maximum FDI in the month of April came from Singapore ($1.29 billion), followed by Mauritius ($355 million), the Netherlands ($173 million) and the USA ($149 million).
According to an official, steps taken by the government are helping to boost FDI flows. Since September, several reform initiatives have been taken, including liberalising FDI norms in civil aviation, retail and power exchanges.
FDI inflows in financial year 2012-13 aggregated $22.42 billion, a decline from $36.50 billion in fiscal 2011-12.
Union commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma and finance minister P Chidambaram travelled to the USA in the past week to pitch for investments.
Following the decisions taken in September, the government is also expected to further liberalise the FDI regime in sectors such as telecom and defence.
The finance ministry has proposed changes in FDI caps for sectors, including tea, media, petroleum and natural gas.
India needs about $1 trillion investments between fiscal 2012-13 and fiscal 2016-17 to fund infrastructure such as ports, airports and highways to boost growth.
An increase in foreign direct investments will help support the rupee, which depreciated to a record low of 61.21 against the US dollar on 8 July.