First quarter FDI rises 7% to $10.55 billion
Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country grew by 7 per cent to $10.55 billion during the first quarter of the year. Foreign investment inflows were at $9.88 billion in January-March 2015, according to the data of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). The sectors, which attracted maximum FDI during the period, included computer hardware and software, services, telecommunications, power, pharmaceuticals and trading business. In terms of countries, India received maximum overseas inflows from the US, Singapore, Mauritius, Japan and the Netherlands. An official said with the government further liberalising foreign investment policies for services sector in the Budget, more inflows would come. The government has recently relaxed FDI norms in about eight sectors including defence, civil aviation, food processing, pharmaceuticals and private security agencies. Foreign investment is considered crucial for India, which needs around $1 trillion for overhauling infrastructure sector such as ports, airports and highways to boost growth. A strong inflow of foreign investments will help improve the country's balance of payments situation and strengthen the rupee value against other global currencies, especially the US dollar.