Delayed Monsoon

wait for mansoonIt was a historic moment for India. After a gap of 30 years, India got  a stable majority  government, National Democratic Alliance (NDA)  won more than 50% of seats.  For the last three decades  we had coalition governments. Irrespective of which party had  a major stake, when it’s coalition, it’s difficult to reach agreement on major decisions, as Government is always at mercy of small coalition partners.

Now,  that its majority is with a single political party (BJP), everyone is expecting the government at center would take some bold decision. It is possible. It is important to take decision – some may be wrong, but it is always better to take some wrong decisions than non-decision at all. First 6 months were testing time – firstly because of pressure of expectations and inexperience (for more than a decade BJP was away from ruling position) and secondly because of delayed monsoon. It seems monsoon too was testing patience of the new rulers as well as all residents. Though delayed, finally monsoon has settled and it seems government too has settled down. They have reviewed the situation and it seems now things have started moving.

From the point of view of companies looking at India, either as a manufacturing base or as a potential market, there  can’t be a better time than current. Most important aspect any investor looks for, while thinking to enter a new country, is government stability. Undoubtedly, there can’t be a more stable government than current. Second important factor is leadership. Mr. Narendra Modi, prime minister of India, is known for his strong leadership and proactive approach towards development. Third aspect is  government approach towards industry and commerce. One of the reasons people have voted ruling alliance to power is because of the vision of growth and development NDA promised in their election manifesto. Now it is time that  government acts on its promises and try to fulfill them.  Everybody who knows about India is aware that it is difficult, almost impossible, to fulfill all the promises but any efforts towards even partial fulfillment will be seen as positive movements.

It seems government is moving in the right direction towards fulfillment of people’s expectations from it. Areas NDA government has promised to work on include economic revival, growth, agriculture and balanced development for all. The slogan of new government is “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas”  (“participation of all, development of all”) and the new initiative by government “my Gov’  appears to be a right step towards involvement of all in governance.  Through this portal, government is seeking advice, thoughts and ideas on various topics that concern India. At the same timethe portal is asking people to participate directly in those areas which interest them so that they could also be part of execution.

Economic situation is stable,  stock exchange index is showing steady growth,  monsoon, though delayed in many parts of the country,has crossed its average, farmers expect a good crop, government has settled down, people expectations  also have become realistic  and now it’s time for government to really act, start implementing the programs they promised during the election campaign. NDA said “Ache Din Aane Wale Hain” (“Good days are going to come”) and people expect them to come soon. Social media has started mentioning about some policy decisions, which could mean good days have started. And, there cannot be better time for investment in a country than when both Government and people are positive about its future…

RAVI PATIL - Director INDOLINK India.

India, Singapore Want Economic Partnership Deal Fast-Tracked

India & Singapore New Delhi: India and Singapore have asked their negotiators working on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to show adequate flexibility to move ahead and have the review completed at the earliest.

This was agreed to at a meeting that the Singapore’s visiting Foreign and Law MinisterK Shanmugam, had with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj here on Tuesday.

“The focus of the discussion was largely economic. Singapore is the source of the largest foreign direct investment into India,” the spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs said.

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India displaces Japan to become third-largest world economy in terms of PPP: World Bank

Source: The Economic Times, Apr 30, 2014

NEW DELHI: India has displaced Japan to become the world’s third biggest economy in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), according to a World Bank report released on Tuesday.The 2011 round of the bank’s International Comparison Program (ICP) ranked India after the US and China. The last survey in 2005 had placed the country on 10th place.

PPP is used to compare economies and incomes of people by adjusting for differences in prices in different countries to make a meaningful comparison.

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Finance Ministry preparing next phase of economic reforms

Source: The Economic Times, Apr 15, 2014

NEW DELHI: The finance ministry is preparing an outline for the next phase of economic reforms that can be presented to the new government to bolster manufacturing, infrastructure development and farm productivity.Top officials in North Block, which houses the finance ministry, told ET that they are reviewing customs duty structure and ways to ease regulatory approvals.

“We are working on deepening reforms in key sectors that will build on the growth momentum…The idea is to have a plan ready that can be tweaked quickly,” a senior finance ministry official said, requesting anonymity. The immediate urgency is to temper inflation expectations and revive growth, the official said. Although wholesale price-based inflation eased to 4.68% in February from 7.52% in November, retail inflation was still high at 8.1%.

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Indian Rupee Hits More Than 7-Month High; Shares In Focus

Indian rupee Source: Financial Express, Mar 25th, 2014

The Indian rupee strengthened to its highest level in more than seven months on Tuesday, tracking broad global losses in the dollar and as foreign investors continued to buy into a record-setting rally in domestic shares this month.

The US dollar nursed broad losses early on Tuesday, having come under pressure late in New York as investors bought the euro and drove the Australian dollar to its highest this year.

The partially convertible rupee trading at 60.50/51 per dollar at 0336 GMT, its strongest level since Aug. 12 and higher than its Monday’s close of 60.77/78.

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Agriculture dependent population in India grew by 50%

Agriculture Source: The Economic Times, Feb 27, 2014

WASHINGTON: Agricultural population of India grew by a whopping 50 per cent between 1980 and 2011, the highest for any country during this period, followed by China with 33 per cent, while that of the United States dropped by 37 per cent as a result of large scale mechanisation, a latest report has said.

“Between 1980 and 2011, the economically active agricultural populations of China and India grew by 33 and 50 per cent, respectively, due to overall population growth,” the Worldwatch Institute said in its report yesterday.

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PM Pegs Growth At 5% For FY14

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Source: Business Standards, Jan 09, 2014

New Delhi: Striking an optimistic note, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday pegged the country’s economic growth at five per cent for the financial year ending March 2014, while assuring investors India would re-emerge as an attractive investment destination soon. Singh was speaking at the 12th annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here.

“Our economy has done well over the past decade. In the nine years since 2004, we averaged a healthy growth rate of 7.9 per cent per annum. There has been no doubt of a slowdown in the recent past, and we will probably end this year at the same level as last year with a five per cent growth. A number of international as well as domestic factors has contributed to this situation. Despite these challenges, our economic fundamentals remain strong,” Singh said.

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