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Out 6 months later, FDI data show 7% fall in inbound equity investment

The latest figures were released after a hiatus of six months, throughout which the DPIIT did not publish FDI figures, despite RBI providing it with regular inputs

Subhayan Chakraborty  |  New Delhi 

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Brought out after a six-month hiatus, the government’s (FDI) figures have revealed that inbound equity investments dropped for the first time under the current regime, going down by 7 per cent in the April-December period of FY19.

Latest figures released by the Department for Prom­otion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) on Wednesday shows that equity inflows reduced to $33.5 billion over the period, down from almost $36 billion in the same period of the previous year.


The latest figures were released after a hiatus of six months, throughout which the did not publish figures, despite the (RBI) providing it with regular inputs. This was a major break from the established practice, since this data was published every quarter earlier.

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The compiles total investment inflows with data from the as well as its own databases. The last time they published this data was in August last year — for the April-June period. Officials refused to explain why the data had not been released till now, despite the continuing to release its own quarterly and monthly estimates.

A close look at the RBI’s data shows a marked slowdown in In the first financial year (2014-15) of the current government, shot up by 25 per cent. This growth rate has fallen to just 3 per cent in 2017-18, according to latest statistics.

Falling fortunes

The lack of figures had raised questions from credit ratings agencies, private equity firms, as well as banks. Government agencies, such as Invest India and the India Brad Equity Foundation, which are often the first point of contact between the government and foreign investors, have also not received the latest figures.

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India’s position as an attractive FDI destination has fallen for the first time in 2018. According to the 2018 AT Kearney Foreign Direct Inves­tment Confidence Ind­ex, India is not among the top 10 destinations for FDI.

After rising for the past two years, India’s position fell three places in 2018-11. But despite losing its status among the top 10 for the first time since 2015, India rema­ined the second-highest eme­rging mar­ket (EM).

The lack of detailed data has also raised questions on the origin of Figures presented by the government to Parliament last year sho­wed that FDI from nations wid­ely regarded as tax havens such as Cayman Islands and Hong Kong had jumped in 2017-18.

While the remained the largest recipient of FDI, other major sectors such as and computer software saw steep decline.

Total FDI inflows, including reinvested earnings and other capital flows, in the April-December period of 2018-19 was $46.62 billion. Annual growth rate of total FDI inflows have reduced from 25 per cent in 2014-15 to only 1 percent in 2017-18.

First Published: Wed, February 20 2019. 23:45 IST