New Delhi: Foreign direct investment (FDI) into India increased 25 percent year-on-year to USD 2.32 billion in April, the highest level in the past six months. In April 2012, the country had received FDI worth USD 1.85 billion, according to data from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

In September, 2012, foreign inflows were USD 4.67 billion. The sectors that received large FDI inflows during the month include hotel and tourism (USD 2.32 billion), pharmaceuticals (USD 987 million), services (USD 238 million), chemicals (USD 51 million) and construction (USD 32 million), according to the data.

The most FDI in April came from Singapore (USD 1.29 billion), followed by Mauritius (USD 355 million), the Netherlands (USD 173 million) and the US (USD 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 liberalizing FDI norms in civil aviation, retail and power exchanges.

FDI inflows in 2012-13 aggregated USD 22.42 billion, a decline from USD 36.50 billion in 2011-12. Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Finance Minister P Chidambaram travelled to the US in the past week to pitch for investments.

Following the decisions taken in September, the government is also expected to further liberalize 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 USD 1 trillion from 2012-13 to 2016-17 to fund infrastructure such as ports, airports and highways to boost growth. An increase in FDI will help support the rupee, which depreciated to a record low of 61.21 against the US dollar on July 8.


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