New Delhi: Foreign direct investment (FDI) into India increased by 16.5 percent to USD 2.46 billion in March this year.
The FDI inflows were at USD 2.11 billion in the same month of last year, according to the data of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
For the entire 2015-16 fiscal ended March 31, the inflows grew by 29 percent to USD 40 billion as against USD 30.93 billion in 2014-15.
FDI for 2015-16 was the highest since 2000-01. The services segment attracted the highest investments of USD 6.88 billion followed by computer hardware and software (USD 5.90 billion), trading business (USD 3.84 billion) and automobile industry (USD 2.52 billion).
Singapore toppled Mauritius as the top FDI source for FDI in India last fiscal.
India received USD 13.69 billion overseas inflows from Singapore, followed by Mauritius (USD 8.35 billion), the US (USD 4.19 billion), the Netherlands (USD 2.64 billion) and Japan (USD 2.61 billion).
The government has taken several steps to promote investments through a liberal FDI policy.
It is expected to soon take a decision on permitting 100 percent FDI in the food processing sector through the FIPB approval route.
Foreign investment is considered crucial for India, which needs around USD 1 trillion for overhauling its 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.