FDI in services sector drops 62% during Apr-Oct 2013

Tags: FDI, Economy
Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into the services sector declined by about 62% year-on-year

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to $1.36 billion during April-October of the ongoing fiscal.

The services sector, which includes banking, insurance, outsourcing, R&D, courier and technology testing, had received FDI worth $3.6 billion during April-October 2012, an official in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) told PTI.

According to industry experts, foreign investors are waiting for the new government.

"As services sector such as banking need necessary reforms, investors are waiting for the new government for bringing relevant changes in the policy. Although the present government has taken steps to attract investments, more needs to be done," said Krishan Malhotra, an expert on FDI with corporate law firm Amarchand & Mangaldas.

In the banking sector, foreign capital inflows are low due to certain restrictive and tough norms, another expert said.

In step with the drop in FDI in important sectors like services, overall foreign inflows in the country has come down to $12.6 billion during the seven months of the current fiscal. It was $14.78 billion in April-October 2012.

The services sector contributes over 60% to India's GDP. In 2012-13, foreign investment in services fell to $4.83 billion from $5.21 billion in 2011-12.

The other sectors where inflows have declined include power ($320 million) and metallurgical industries ($245 million).

However, to attract investment, the government is considering raising the FDI cap in insurance sector to 49% from 26%. A Bill regarding this is pending in the parliament since 2008.

Foreign investments are considered crucial for India, which needs around $1 trillion in the next five years to overhaul its infrastructure sector such as ports, airports and highways to boost growth.

Decline in foreign investments could affect the country's balance of payments (BoP) situation and also impact the rupee.

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