Make in India
PM Narendra Modi will launch the 'Make in India' week in Mumbai on Saturday, feb. 13, 2016. In picture: Modi attends the India-China Business Forum in Shanghai May 16, 2015.Reuters

A report by a domestic brokerage firm contradicts a claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' initiative was the main driver behind India's emergence as the world's top destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first half of the year, surpassing China and the US.

The brokerage said that it would be "premature" to co-relate the increase in FDI to the 'Make in India' initiative.

The country saw capital inflows to the tune of $31 billion during the January-June period, while China and the US attracted an investment of $28 billion and $27 billion, respectively, according to a recent report by The Financial Times.

"The recent media hype over India surpassing China and US in FDI inflows, is supposedly considered an affirmation of the success of 'Make in India'. However, data suggests that FDI flows have centered on exploiting domestic consumption, rather than stimulating domestic manufacturing," NDTV Profit quoted Dhananjay Sinha and Kruti Shah of Emkay Global as saying.

The findings of the brokerage are based on data from various sources including the Department of Industrial Planning and Promotion, the agency that is responsible for driving the 'Make in India' programme.

According to Emkay Global, a significant part of FDI inflows to India flowed into e-commerce firms such as Flipkart and Snapdeal, automobiles and cash & carry businesses.

These firms are "not aligned to the spirit of the 'Make in India' campaign," it said.

The investments in these firms are targeted at exploiting the vast potential in domestic consumption but not aimed at improving exports, which is the main focus of 'Make in India', it said.

The country's automobile sector saw $6 billion investments in the form of FDI in the first half of 2015, but the contribution of exports to total sales of passenger cars stayed at around 20-25%, Emkay said.

"While the automobile industry has been considered as an important driver of the 'Make in India' campaign, evidence suggests that most of the FDI flows, both historically and recent, have been aided to capture domestic demand rather than exports, diluting the essence of the campaign," the brokerage added.

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