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Swedish companies are happy with the Modi Government's track record. More importantly, they are confident that the business environment in India will only get better in the coming years. So says the annual business confidence survey conducted by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in India.


Source:Money Control

Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows hit an all-time high of $60.1 billion in 2016-17, the commerce and industry ministry said on Friday, as the Narendra Modi government eased rules to lure global conglomerates to set up shop in sectors such as defence and railways.


In the last three years, the government has eased 87 FDI rules across 21 sectors to accelerate economic growth and boost jobs. 


"The country has now become the topmost attractive destination for foreign investment," the ministry said in a statement.


FDI inflows were at $55.6 billion for the year ending March 2016, which was a record. In 2016-17, the FDI inflows were even higher at $60.08 billion.


Since 2014, the Modi government opened up "conservative" sectors like rail infrastructure and defence. FDI reforms were also carried out in financial sector, medical devices and construction sectors.


FDI rules were radically overhauled across sectors such as broadcasting, retail trading and air transport. The Modi government amended legislation to hike the foreign investment cap to 49 per cent in insurance and pension from the earlier 26 per cent.


"The momentum of positive business climate was further ignited with launch of Make in India initiative in September 2014," the ministry said.


In addition, initiatives such as introduction of composite caps in the FDI policy and raising the FIPB approval limit were also undertaken to promote ease of doing business in the country.


For retail trading of food products, the government permitted 100 per cent FDI with unqualified condition that such food products have to be manufactured or produced in India.


Source: Times of Oman

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will discuss potential areas of boosting cooperation between India and Africa here on Monday. Mr. Jaitley will open the India-Africa Cooperation session being held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB).


The sessions will cover areas such as trade and investment, agriculture, renewable energy and manufacturing among others. Total trade between India and Africa increased almost five-fold between 2005-06 and 2015-16, and stood at $52 billion in March 2016-17.


This is the first time that the African Development Bank is holding its annual meeting outside of the African continent.


India’s exports to Africa increased from $14 billion in 2007-08 to $23 billion in 2016-17, with compound annual growth rate of 5.6%.


Indian imports from Africa increased from $20 billion in 2007-08 to $28 billion in 2016-17 accounting for 7.5% of total Indian imports.


Heads of states from Benin and Rwanda and other African countries as well as vice-presidents from Comoros and Cote d’Ivoire and AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina are expected to address the sessions.


Source: The Hindu

Global sales of DRAM chips grew 13.4 percent from a quarter earlier to US$14.13 billion last quarter, as a tight supply shortage boosted commodity DRAM prices by more than 30 percent and mobile DRAM prices by almost 10 percent, TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said. Samsung Electronics Co took the top position after posting sales of US$6.32 billion in the quarter, followed by SK Hynix Inc’s US$4.05 billion in sales and Micron Technology Inc’s US$2.96 billion. TrendForce said that momentum is expected to continue and send product prices up another 10 percent this quarter




Furlough numbers dow


The number of workers on unpaid leave in Taiwan in the first half of this month fell to a low of almost six years at a time when the nation’s economy is showing signs of improvement, the Ministry of Labor said on Tuesday. As of May 15, the number of workers who took unpaid leave fell from 184 at the end of last month to 102, the ministry said. The number of employers who implemented their unpaid leave programs also fell to a six-year low of four as of Tuesday, it said




‘Taiwan Desk’ in Dehl


The Ministry of Economic Affairs established a “Taiwan Desk” at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in New Delhi on Thursday with a ceremony hosted by Representative to India James Tien (田中光) and Dushyant Thakor, deputy head of “Invest India” under India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Nearly 90 Taiwanese firms have set up branches in India and Taiwan’s foreign direct investment in India reached US$177 million last year, the TECO said. Bilateral trade between reached US$5.01 billion last year, the office said.


Source: Taipei Times

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is set to dramatically reshape Asia's third-largest economy with the biggest tax reform since independence in 1947.


After finding common ground among India's 29 states, the finance ministry on Friday released detailed rates for the incoming goods and services tax, slotting more than 1,200 items -- from sugar to steel pipes and motorcycles -- into five tax brackets between zero and 28 percent. With that done, India is almost ready to implement a tax code that unifies more than a dozen separate levies, effectively creating a single market with a population greater than the U.S., Europe, Brazil, Mexico and Japan combined. 


"It is a tax revolution, in many ways, because the indirect tax structure in India was hopelessly chaotic," said Raghbendra Jha, head of the economics department at Australian National University. "It's mind boggling, the sheer magnitude of the reform taking place."


The sweeping tax reform will gradually reshape India's business landscape, make the world's fastest-growing major economy an easier place to do business and is likely to raise government revenues by widening the tax net in the country's largely informal $2 trillion economy. That means India could spend more on desperately needed infrastructure and training programs for a workforce that is growing by 1 million people each month, laying the groundwork for longer-term growth. 


With tax experts praising the rates as moderate and generally lower-than-expected, it seems possible Modi might be able to roll out this reform without a politically damaging rise in inflation. However some economists and analysts see a July 1st deadline as unrealistic, raising the possibility that less than 10 months after demonetization, India's economy could again be upturned as businesses struggle to comply with the new tax code.


Chaotic Implementation


Business groups, fearing a chaotic implementation, have lobbied the government for a September 1 roll out. They argue that companies -- particularly small-and-medium-sized enterprises that contribute more than 30 percent of India's GDP -- need more time as they struggle to become tax compliant in the new system.


"To expect that the rates are out on the 18th, 19th of May, and everyone will be able to plug in and run with it by July 1 is very far fetched," said Dinesh Kanabar, the Mumbai-based CEO of Dhruva Advisors LLP and former deputy CEO of KPMG India.


Still, lower-than-expected rates mean that there may be little or only mild inflation, less than in other countries that have implemented a GST, he added.


There "was an expectation that the government would jack up the rates from the effective rates, which could lead to a huge amount of inflation," Kanabar said. "What we see today is very different. The rates are moderate. And in most cases, the rates are consistent or lower."


The tax reform, however, is far from perfect as it should only have had one rate, Jha said. Instead, there are four divergent rates and multiple exemptions. Air conditioners, refrigerators and makeup will be taxed at 28 percent, for example, while toothpaste lands at 18 percent and fruit juice at 12 percent. 


Plane tickets attract a 5 percent GST rate, but business class tickets will be taxed at 12 percent, finance secretary Hasmukh Adia said. Staples such as food grains, fresh vegetables and milk are not taxed at all, while Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said education and health services will continue to be exempted.


Political Win


For Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party, the release of detailed GST rates is a big political win. It's the relatively calm culmination of months of political wrangling with state governments all trying to shape the country's new tax code in their own favor.


"The process of agreeing the GST rates for individual items has been remarkably smooth considering that the overall GST negotiations for India has been a tortuous political process among national and state legislatures that has taken a decade," said Rajiv Biswas, IHS Markit's Asia-Pacific chief economist.


Tax Base


Importantly for India, a country in which fewer than 1 percent pay income tax, the GST will broaden its tax base, according to University of Melbourne economist Nathan Taylor. 


"It will have profoundly positive implications for the economy," Taylor said.


Jha, the ANU professor, said India's enhanced tax revenues should be used to boost spending on health and education, which is significantly lower as a percentage of GDP than many other countries. 


"The paucity of tax revenue has been a plague for India," Jha said. "You have a population that is young, that is waiting to be trained and educated, and you don't have the resources to attend to them. Any increase in tax compliance, in government revenues, can't come to soon."


Source: Ndtv news