In a silver lining for the economy, foreign direct investment (FDI) equity flows increased 21 per cent to $35.33 billion in the April-October 2020-21 period compared to the same period last year, according to figures shared by the Department of Policy for Investment and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

The figures indicate that FDI equity flows in October were around $5.3 billion as the inflow in April-September 2020 was reported at $30 billion. This was higher than the $2.9 billion recorded the previous month, but lower than the unusually high FDI equity investment of $17.48 billion in August 2020.

During the first seven months of 2020-21, the total FDI inflow increased 11 per cent to $46.82 billion.

“FDI has played an important role in the process of globalisation and is a major driver of economic growth and a source of non-debt finance for the economic development of India. It has been the endeavour of the government to put in place an enabling and investor friendly FDI policy,” a note listing the highlights of DPIIT during 2020 stated.

The standard operating procedure has been amended for ease of processing FDI proposals and is uploaded on the government’s website. As many as 26 FDI applications marked to DPIIT had been disposed of in 2020, it added.

A total 84 plots admeasuring nearly 554.73 acres have been allotted to companies with investment to the tune of over Rs 16,100 crore including investors like HYOSUNG (South Korea), NLMK (Russia), HAIER (China), TATA Chemicals and AMUL so far, the note pointed out. As many as nine companies have also started their commercial production, it added.

Project Development Cells have now been established in 29 ministries/departments of the government, headed by respective Joint Secretary-level nodal officers, it said.