India attracts highest ever FDI of USD 8.1 bn in Mar

New Delhi: With an eight-fold increase, India attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) of USD 8.1 billion in March, the highest ever monthly inflows, despite a brouhaha over Rs 11,000 crore Vodafone tax dispute. Cumulative FDI inflows for the fiscal 2011-12 amounted to USD 36.50 billion, authoritative sources told PTI.

In March 2011, the country received FDI worth USD 1.07 billion. The USD 7.2 billion Reliance Industries-British Petroleum (BP) deal, announced in February 2011 contributed significantly to the inflows, even though funds from the UK oil major would have come in phases, they said. The BP had picked up a 30 per cent stake in Reliance Industries` 21 oil-fields.

Earlier, highest FDI of USD 5.65 billion was received in June last year. Though the March data has been compiled by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), it is yet to be released officially.

The sectors which received large foreign FDI inflows during 2011-12 include services, pharmaceuticals, telecom, construction, power and metallurgical industries, a DIPP official said, adding Mauritius remained the top FDI source. The inflows had aggregated to USD 19.42 billion in 2010-11, down from USD 25.83 billion in 2009-10.

The government move in the Budget for enabling it to tax Vodafone type multi-billion dollar deals had come in for criticism among some industry associations and multi-national companies. They criticised stating it would affect FDI. However, the government has stood its ground retaining the provision in the Finance Bill approved by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.