The services sector, which includes banking, insurance, outsourcing, research and development, courier and technology testing, had received foreign direct investment (FDI) worth $6.89 billion in 2015-16, according to data of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
The government has taken several measures such as fixing timeliness for approvals and streamlining procedures to improve ease of doing business in the country and attract foreign investments.
With FDI growth in key sectors like services and telecom, the overall foreign investment inflows in the country too increased by 9% to $43.5 billion last fiscal.
Increasing FDI inflows in the services sector assumes significance as it contributes over 60% to India’s gross domestic product. The sector accounts for about 18% of the total FDI India received between April 2000 and March 2017, followed by key sectors such as computer software & hardware, construction development and telecommunications.
To further boost FDI inflows in the sector, the government is considering relaxation of policy in areas like single brand retail, multi-brand retail, print media and construction. The government is also focusing on enhancing services exports. It is organizing global services exhibition besides the commerce and industry ministry is looking at relax norms in areas like higher education to attract foreign players.
Foreign investments are considered crucial for India, which needs around $1 trillion for overhauling its infrastructure sector such as ports, airports and highways to boost growth. A strong inflow of foreign investments helps improve the country’s balance of payments situation and strengthen the rupee value against other global currencies, especially the US dollar.