Inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into India increased by 9 per cent to record level of USD 43.48 billion in 2016-17 on account of reform measures undertaken by the government. In 2015-16, the country had attracted USD 40 billion foreign investments. “Increased FDI inflows in the country are largely attributed to intense and bold policy reforms the government undertook to bring pragmatism in the FDI regime. The country has now become the topmost attractive destination for foreign investment,” the commerce and industry ministry said in a statement.
“The FDI equity inflow received during 2016-17 is USD 43.48 billion… It is the highest ever for a particular financial year,” it said. It also said that the total FDI including re-invested earnings increased to a “new all time high” of USD 60.08 billion last fiscal from USD 55.6 billion in 2015-16. During the last three years, the statement said, the government eased foreign investment norms in as many as 21 sectors covering 87 areas. “This has resulted in increased FDI inflows which year after year is setting up new records,” it added.
Provisions were relaxed in sectors such as construction development, broadcasting, retail trading, air transport, insurance and pension. Further, the ministry said the FDI policy easing and improvement in ease of doing business help promote domestic industry, restricts import, create jobs and results in conserving valuable foreign exchange. “It has been the endeavor of the government to put in place an enabling and investor friendly FDI policy. The intent all this while has been to make the policy more investor friendly,” it added.
Further, it said the FDI equity inflows in the last three financial years rose by about 40 per cent to USD 114.41 billion as against USD 81.84 billion during previous three fiscal (2011-14). Of this, FDI worth USD 11.69 billion was received through the government approval route. “The overall manufacturing sectors have witnessed a growth of 4 per cent in comparison to previous three financial years (from USD 48.03 billion to USD 50.09 billion),” it said. After the launch of Make in India initiative (October 2014 to March 2017), the FDI flows increased by 62 per cent to USD 99.72 billion as compared to USD 61.41 billion during the previous 30 months (April 2012 to September 2014).
Foreign investments are crucial for India, which needs around USD 1 trillion (about Rs 6.4 lakh crore) for overhauling its infrastructure sector such as ports, airports and highways to boost growth. It helps improve the country’s balance of payments situation and strengthen the rupee value against other global currencies, especially the US dollar.