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India has emerged as the fastest growing major economy in the world as per the Central Statistics Organisation (CSO) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and it is expected to be one of the top three economic powers of the world over the next 10-15 years, backed by its strong democracy and partnerships. India’s GDP is estimated to have increased 6.6 per cent in 2017-18 and is expected to grow 7.3 per cent in 2018-19.
India’s gross domestic product (GDP) at constant prices grew by 7.2 per cent in September-December 2017 quarter as per the Central Statistics Organisation (CSO). Corporate earnings in India are expected to grow by 15-20 per cent in FY 2018-19 supported by recovery in capital expenditure, according to JM Financial.
The tax collection figures between April 2017- February 2018 show an increase in net direct taxes by 19.5 per cent year-on-year and an increase in net direct taxes by 22.2 per cent year-on-year.
India has retained its position as the third largest start-up base in the world with over 4,750 technology start-ups, with about 1,400 new start-ups being founded in 2016, according to a report by NASSCOM.
India’s foreign exchange reserves were US$ 422.53 billion in the week up to March 23, 2018, according to data from the RBI.
With the improvement in the economic scenario, there have been various investments in various sectors of the economy. The M&A activity in India increased 53.3 per cent to US$ 77.6 billion in 2017 while private equity (PE) deals reached US$ 24.4 billion. Some of the important recent developments in Indian economy are as follows:
- India’s merchandise exports and imports grew 11.02 per cent and 21.04 per cent on a y-o-y basis to US$ 273.73 billion and US$ 416.87 billion, respectively, during April-February 2017-18.
- India’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows reached US$ 208.99 billion during April 2014 – December 2017, with maximum contribution from services, computer software and hardware, telecommunications, construction, trading and automobiles.
- India’s Index of Industrial Production (IIP) rose 7.5 per cent year-on-year in January 2018 while retail inflation reached a four month low of 4.4 per cent in February 2018.
- Employment on net basis in eight key sectors in India including manufacturing, IT and transport increased by 136,000 in July-September quarter of 2017-18.
- The average salary hike of Indian employees is estimated to be 9.4 per cent and that of key talents is estimated to be nearly 15.4 per cent in 2018, backed by increased focus on performance by companies, according to Aon Hewitt.
- Indian merchandise exports in dollar terms registered a growth of 4.48 per cent year-on-year in February 2018 at US$ 25.83 billion, according to the data from Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
- Indian companies raised Rs 1.6 trillion (US$ 24.96 billion) through primary market in 2017.
- Moody’s upgraded India’s sovereign rating after 14 years to Baa2 with a stable economic outlook.
- The top 100 companies in India are leading in the world in terms of disclosing their spending on corporate social responsibility (CSR), according to a 49-country study by global consultancy giant, KPMG.
- The bank recapitalisation plan by Government of India is expected to push credit growth in the country to 15 per cent, according to a report by Ambit Capital.
- India has improved its ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report by 30 spots over its 2017 ranking and is ranked 100 among 190 countries in 2018 edition of the report.
- India’s ranking in the world has improved to 126 in terms of its per capita GDP, based on purchasing power parity (PPP) as it increased to US$ 7,170 in 2017, as per data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
- India is expected to have 100,000 start-ups by 2025, which will create employment for 3.25 million people and US$ 500 billion in value, as per Mr T V Mohan Das Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education.
- The World Bank has stated that private investments in India is expected to grow by 8.8 per cent in FY 2018-19 to overtake private consumption growth of 7.4 per cent, and thereby drive the growth in India’s gross domestic product (GDP) in FY 2018-19.
- The Niti Aayog has predicted that rapid adoption of green mobility solutions like public transport, electric vehicles and car-pooling could likely help India save around Rs 3.9 trillion (US$ 60 billion) in 2030.
- Indian impact investments may grow 25 per cent annually to US$ 40 billion from US$ 4 billion by 2025, as per Mr Anil Sinha, Global Impact Investing Network’s (GIIN’s) advisor for South Asia.
- The Union Cabinet, Government of India, has approved the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST), Integrated GST (IGST), Union Territory GST (UTGST), and Compensation Bill.
- The Nikkei India manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index increased at the fastest pace in December 2017 to reach 54.7, signalling a recovery in the economy.
India emerged as the top recipient of greenfield FDI Inflows from the Commonwealth, as per a trade review released by The Commonwealth in 2018.
Some of the recent significant FDI announcements are as follows:
- In August 2018, Bharti Airtel received approval of the Government of India for sale of 20 per cent stake in its DTH arm to an America based private equity firm, Warburg Pincus, for around $350 million.
- In June 2018, Idea’s appeal for 100 per cent FDI was approved by Department of Telecommunication (DoT) followed by its Indian merger with Vodafone making Vodafone Idea the largest telecom operator in India
- In May 2018, Walmart acquired a 77 per cent stake in Flipkart for a consideration of US$ 16 billion.
- In February 2018, Ikea announced its plans to invest up to Rs 4,000 crore (US$ 612 million) in the state of Maharashtra to set up multi-format stores and experience centres.
- In November 2017, 39 MoUs were signed for investment of Rs 4,000-5,000 crore (US$ 612-765 million) in the state of North-East region of India.
- In December 2017, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) approved FDI proposals of Damro Furniture and Supr Infotech Solutions in retail sector, while Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance approved two FDI proposals worth Rs 532 crore (US$ 81.4 million).
- The Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India, closed three foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals leading to a total foreign investment worth Rs 24.56 crore (US$ 3.80 million) in October 2017.
- Kathmandu based conglomerate, CG Group is looking to invest Rs 1,000 crore (US$ 155.97 million) in India by 2020 in its food and beverage business, stated Mr Varun Choudhary, Executive Director, CG Corp Global.
- International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank Group, is planning to invest about US$ 6 billion through 2022 in several sustainable and renewable energy programmes in India.
The Union Budget for 2018-19 was announced by Mr Arun Jaitley, Union Minister for Finance, Government of India, in Parliament on February 1, 2018. This year’s budget will focus on uplifting the rural economy and strengthening of the agriculture sector, healthcare for the economically less privileged, infrastructure creation and improvement in the quality of education of the country. As per the budget, the government is committed towards doubling the farmers’ income by 2022. A total of Rs 14.34 lakh crore (US$ 225.43 billion) will be spent for creation of livelihood and infrastructure in rural areas. Budgetary allocation for infrastructure is set at Rs 5.97 lakh crore (US$ 93.85 billion) for 2018-19. All-time high allocations have been made to the rail and road sectors.
India’s unemployment rate is expected to be 3.5 per cent in 2018, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Numerous foreign companies are setting up their facilities in India on account of various government initiatives like Make in India and Digital India. Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, has launched the Make in India initiative with an aim to boost the manufacturing sector of Indian economy, to increase the purchasing power of an average Indian consumer, which would further boost demand, and hence spur development, in addition to benefiting investors. The Government of India, under the Make in India initiative, is trying to give boost to the contribution made by the manufacturing sector and aims to take it up to 25 per cent of the GDP from the current 17 per cent. Besides, the Government has also come up with Digital India initiative, which focuses on three core components: creation of digital infrastructure, delivering services digitally and to increase the digital literacy.
Some of the recent initiatives and developments undertaken by the government are listed below:
- In March 2018, construction of 321,567 additional houses across 523 cities under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) has been approved by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India with an allocation of Rs 18,203 crore.
- The Ministry of Power, Government of India has partnered with the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship to provide training to the manpower in six states in an effort to speed up the implementation of SAUBHAGYA (Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna).
- Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) will be continued with an outlay of Rs 5,500 crore (US$ 844.81 million) for three years from 2017-18 to 2019-20, according to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).
- In February 2018, The Union Cabinet Committee has approved setting up of National Urban Housing Fund (NUHF) for Rs 60,000 crore (US$ 9.3 billion) which will help in raising requisite funds in the next four years.
- The target of an Open Defecation Free (ODF) India will be achieved by October 2, 2019 as adequate funding is available to the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), according to Ms Uma Bharti, Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India.
- The Government of India has succeeded in providing road connectivity to 85 per cent of the 178,184 eligible rural habitations in the country under its Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) since its launch in 2014.
- A total of 15,183 villages have been electrified in India between April 2015-November 2017 and complete electrification of all villages is expected by May 2018, according to Mr Raj Kumar Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Government of India.
- The Government of India has decided to invest Rs 2.11 trillion (US$ 32.9 billion) to recapitalise public sector banks over the next two years and Rs 7 trillion (US$ 109.31billion) for construction of new roads and highways over the next five years.
- The mid-term review of India’s Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-20 has been released by Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, under which annual incentives for labour intensive MSME sectors have been increased by 2 per cent.
- The India-Japan Act East Forum, under which India and Japan will work on development projects in the North-East Region of India will be a milestone for bilateral relations between the two countries, according to Mr Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India.
- The Government of India will spend around Rs 1 lakh crore (US$ 15.62 billion) during FY 18-20 to build roads in the country under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
- The Government of India plans to facilitate partnerships between gram panchayats, private companies and other social organisations, to push for rural development under its ‘Mission Antyodaya’ and has already selected 50,000 panchayats across the country for the same.
- India’s revenue receipts are estimated to touch Rs 28-30 trillion (US$ 436- 467 billion) by 2019, owing to Government of India’s measures to strengthen infrastructure and reforms like demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST).
India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to reach US$ 6 trillion by FY27 and achieve upper-middle income status on the back of digitisation, globalisation, favourable demographics, and reforms.
India is also focusing on renewable sources to generate energy. It is planning to achieve 40 per cent of its energy from non-fossil sources by 2030 which is currently 30 per cent and also have plans to increase its renewable energy capacity from 57 GW to 175 GW by 2022.
India is expected to be the third largest consumer economy as its consumption may triple to US$ 4 trillion by 2025, owing to shift in consumer behaviour and expenditure pattern, according to a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report; and is estimated to surpass USA to become the second largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) by the year 2040, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.