Economic Survey Volume 2 Chapter 9 (Latest)






The services sector continued to be the key driver of India’s economic growth contributing almost 72.5% of gross value added growth in 2017-18. Due to reforms initiated by the government (such as digitization, e-visas, infrastructure status to Logistics), the sector is expected to grow at 8.3% in 2017-18.



  • Among top 15 countries (in terms of overall GDP), China (9.8 pp) recorded the highest increase in services share to Gross Value Added (GVA) during 2006-16, followed by India (7.1 pp) and Spain (7.0 pp).
  • In 2016, services GVA growth rate (at constant prices), was highest in India at 7.8% followed by China at 7.4%
  • As per ILO’s estimates, the services sector accounted for more than two-thirds of total employment in 2016 in top economies except India and China, with India’s share of 30.6% being the lowest.
  • As per the latest World Trade Organization (WTO) data for first half of 2017, services export growth for the World was 4.3% (average of Q1 and Q2) and robust at 9.9% for India.



Services GVA

As per the First Advance estimates of national income 2017-18 released by Central Statistics Office (CSO), following are the growth estimates:








Trade, hotels, transport, communication



Financial, real estate & professional services



Public administration, defence & other services




State wise comparison of services

  • Out of 32 states and UTs, services sector contributes to more than half of the gross state value added (GSVA) in 15 states and UTs.
  • The major services in most of the states are trade, hotels and restaurants, followed by real estate, ownership of dwellings and business services.
  • Wide variation in terms of share and growth of services GSVA:





GSVA share

Delhi, Chandigarh (80%)

Sikkim (31.7%)

GSVA growth

Bihar (14.5%)

UP (7%)


FDI in India’s Services Sector


During 2017-18 (April-October), the FDI equity inflows to the services sector grew by 15.0%

In the last three years, the Government has undertaken a number of reforms to ensure that India remains an increasingly attractive investment destination, which include announcement of National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy, implementation of GST, reforms for ease of doing business, etc.


Recently, in January 2018, Union Cabinet approved amendments in FDI policy allowing 100% FDI under automatic route for Single Brand Retail Trading. Foreign airlines also have been allowed to invest up to 49 per cent in Air India.


India’s Services Trade


  • India remained the eighth largest exporter of commercial services in the world in 2016 (WTO, 2017) with a share of 3.4%, which is double the share of India’s merchandise exports in the world at 1.7%
  • The ratio of services exports to merchandise exports increased from 35.8% in 2000-01 to 58.2% in 2016-17 indicating the growing importance of the services sector in India’s exports.
  • Services exports recorded a robust growth of 16.2% during April-September 2017-18, with a turnaround in some major sectors like travel and software services.
  • India’s services imports exhibited growth of 17.4% in April-September 2017-18. Net services receipts rose by 14.6% during April-September of 2017-18.
  • Net surplus in services financed about 49% of India’s merchandise deficit in 2017-18 H1 and cushioned the CAD.
  • To boost services exports, the Government in its mid-term Review of Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020, has increased incentives under Services Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) by 2%




  • Good performance of Tourism, Aviation, and Telecom sectors.
  • Only sector showing signs of stress is the Construction and Real Estate sector.
  • In the first two quarters of 2017-18, all sectors performed well except Hotel & Restaurant and Construction & Real Estate sectors, in Q2.


Following table shows Growth in Net Sales of Select Services: Company Based Data








In India, the tourist sector is performing well. Following shows the growth rates in FTA (Foreign Tourist Arrival) and FEE (Foreign Exchange Earnings).












Various initiatives have been taken by the Government to promote tourism:

  • introduction of the e-Visa facility under three categories of Tourist, Medical and Business for the citizens of 163 countries;
  • launch of Global Media Campaign for 2017-18 on various Channels;
  • launch of ‘The Heritage Trail’ to promote the World Heritage Sites in India, launch of International Media Campaign on various international TV channels;
  • Celebration of ‘Paryatan Parv’ having 3 components namely :
  • Dekho Apna Desh’ to encourage Indians to visit their own country
  • Tourism for All’ with tourism events at sites across all states in the country
  • Tourism & Governance’ with interactive sessions & workshops with stakeholders on varied themes.




IT –BPM Services

  • India’s Information Technology – Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry grew by 8.1% in 2016-17 to US$ 139.9 billion.
  • IT-BPM industry is estimated to employ nearly 3.9 million people in 2016-17.
  • Initiatives taken:
  • establishment of BPO Promotion and Common Services Centres to help create digital inclusion and equitable growth and provide employment to 1.45 lakh persons, mostly in the small towns;
  • setting up a separate Northeast BPO promotion scheme with 5000 seats and having employment potential of 15000 persons;
  • preparing the draft open data protection policy law;
  • Initiatives like Digital India, Make in India, Smart Cities, e-Governance, push for digital talent through Skill India, drive towards a cashless economy and efforts to kindle innovation through Start-up India.


Real Estate and Housing

  • Real estate and construction together, is slated to employ over 52 million workforce by 2017, and 67 million workforce by 2022. But growth in real estate has decelerated over the past few years.
  • Residential launches across top 14 cities in India during H1 2017 fell to the lowest in past five years to about 58,000 units as per the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO).
  • The reason for the substantial and continuous decline in FDI investments in this sector over the past five years was that the offshore investors have been deploying majority of their funds through debt or structured debt route.
  • However, it has begun to show signs of improvement with the total FDI of US$257 million in H1 2017 due to – regulatory environment, enhanced infrastructure, and amendments to Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).
  • On demand side, the individual housing loan disbursements of PSBs and Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) have shown an increase of nearly 1% in 2016-17 over 2015-16.
  • However, rising NPAs, higher risk provisioning assigned to real estate sector and dwindling profits in the real estate sector, have made banks reluctant to lend to the sector. Interestingly, Private Equity (PE) funds and financial institutions such as pension funds and sovereign wealth funds have replaced banks as the largest source of this sector.


Initiatives taken to meet target of ‘Housing for All by 2022’ mission:

  • PPP policy for affordable housing segment
  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY): Government sanctioning over 3.1 million houses for the affordable housing segment in urban regions.
  • Extension of Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) under PMAY to the Middle Income Group (MIG)
  • Enactment of Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016: It involved compulsory disclosures and registrations to increase transparency whereas increased accountability would lead to higher growth across the real estate value chain.

Research and Development


  • India-based R&D services companies, which account for almost 22% of the global market, grew at 12.7%, however, India’s gross expenditure on R&D has been low at around 1% of GDP.
  • India’s Engineering R&D (ER&D) globalization and services market, which currently stands at about US$ 22 billion, is expected to reach US$ 38 billion by 2020.
  • Initiatives undertaken:
  • Establishing the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) in the NITI Aayog.
  • The agreement between India and Israel in 2016 to enhance bilateral cooperation in science and technology: it provides US$ 1 million from each side in the next two years to support new R&D projects in the areas of big data analytics in healthcare and cyber security.
  • MoEFCC has announced an R&D initiative to develop next generation sustainable refrigerant technologies.
  • DIPP aims at lowering the time taken to clear pending Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) applications.



Space Services

  • Satellite based mapping and launching services are the two areas in which India is making a mark and has huge potential for the future.
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is pursuing a project to support ASEAN Member states including Myanmar to receive and process data from Indian remote sensing satellites (Resourcesat-2 and Oceansat-2) and also to provide training in space science, technology and applications for the benefit of the ASEAN member countries.
  • Foreign exchange earnings of India from export of satellite launch services increased noticeably in 2015-16 and 2016-17 to Rs 394 crore and Rs 275 crore from Rs 149 crore in 2014-15.
  • During 2017-18, Antrix has been working with various resellers across the globe for distribution of IRS data, including Europe, USA, Latin America, Africa and South Eastern Countries.




The prospects of services sector look bright with good performance of sub sectors like Tourism, Aviation, and Telecom, robust services trade performance with even growth of major services like software returning to positive territory.

The downward risk, however, lies in the external environment for software and business services.