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India is set to overtake the United Kingdom and France to become the world’s fifth largest economy next year, a report said Tuesday.


Currently ranked seventh, India will move up to fifth place in 2018 and vault to third spot by 2032, the Centre for Economics and Business Research, a London-based consultancy, said in its annual rankings.


The Indian economy hit a three-year low in the first quarter of the current financial year, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s snap decision in November 2016 to scrap high-value banknotes and following a tax overhaul.


Growth slumped to 5.7% for the three months ending June but recovered slightly to 6.3% for the quarter ending September.


“Despite temporary setbacks... India’s economy has still caught up with that of France and the U.K. and in 2018 will have overtaken them both to become the world’s fifth largest economy in dollar terms,” said CEBR deputy chairman Douglas McWilliams. Cheap energy and a digital revolution will drive economic growth globally, it said.


Source:- The Hindu

US-based tech giant Cisco has said it has seen strong traction in the small and medium business (SMB) segment and has added 5,000 new customers this year in India


SMB is the fastest-growing segment for Cisco in India, expanding at about 20 per cent year-on-year.


“We are seeing significant traction in our SMB business, thanks to ‘Start’ portfolio. Since the launch of Cisco Start portfolio in FY17, we have on-boarded 5,000 new customers in a year,” Sudhir Nayar, Managing Director - Commercial Sales, Cisco India and SAARC, told PTI.


He added that the company is on track to reach its aim of tripling its SMB customer base to 75,000 by 2020.


The firm currently has 25,000-30,000 SMB customers in India.


Earlier this year, Cisco had launched ‘Start’ to offer a new set of solutions to help clients go digital with wireless, secure connectivity for as less as $70 per user per year.


The largest sector within SMBs for Cisco is IT/IT-enabled services.


“We are also seeing strong demand from small-scale manufacturing, retail, e-commerce, logistics, education, logistics, hospitality,” he said.


Source:- Business Line

Kolkata, Dec 20 (UNI) The Real estate sector is one of the most pivotal sectors of Indian economy as it plays a vital role in employment generation in India. 


It ranks second just behind agriculture. The importance of Real estate sector can be understood with its average 5-6 per cent GDP contribution and stimulating demand for more than 250 ancillary industries.


After missing the centre’s deadline, the West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Bill 2017 has finally been passed by the state assembly and aims to have a housing regulator in place within 60 days


West Bengal Government, in an effort to provide a transparent policy in the housing sector, thereby protecting the interest of the buyers, has passed The West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Bill, 2017.


The Bill was passed on August 17 in the state assembly. The step was taken after considering the need for quality and affordable housing in the real estate sector.


It must be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has given a clear instruction to ensure that the interests of buyers are given the highest priority, and the law has been framed keeping this in mind.


Within a period of one year after the Bill turns into an Act, the State Government will establish the West Bengal Housing Industry Regulatory Authority (WBHIRA) to exercise the powers conferred on it.


Source:- United news of India

WASHINGTON: India can achieve an eight per cent growth rate for the next two decades by promoting investment and improving the living conditions of its people, a senior UN economic official has said. 


Describing India's economic condition as largely positive and "favourable to growth", Sebastian Vergara, an Economic Affairs Officer at the United Nations, said the country needs to unleash the next set of reforms to achieve its potential. 


"It needs to think as to how to maintain and consolidate its growth for a very long period of time. India in our assessment has the potential to grow at eight per cent, not for a few years, but 20 years," Vergara told PTI. 


"For that, India needs to come out with the next series of reforms, for example, promote investment and improve the living condition of its population," he said. 


Despite the positive economic condition, Vergara said, India's economic growth could be a little lower in comparison to some of the earlier forecasts. 


The UN, in its latest report, projected India's growth rate to be 7.2 per cent in 2018 and 7.4 per cent in 2019.


The annual 'World Economic Situation Prospects' report, released last week, said the GDP growth for India in 2017 is projected to be 6.7 per cent. 


Several factors have led to India's "positive" economic conditions, Vergara said. 


"One of this is the growth of private consumption and sound macroeconomic policies. The monetary policy, which has been able to control inflation, also has a role to play," he said.


"Also fiscal policy in India, in our assessment has been prudent. At the same time, it has provided another quite support for the economic activity," Vergara said. 


The UN officer praised the Indian government's emphasis on public investment and infrastructure projects. 


"This has been very important to promote growth in the short term and to encourage economic activity in the medium term," he said. 


The series of regulatory reforms that has happened in the previous year and the current one has also helped India's cause, said the UN official who keeps a tab on India's economic health and development. 


"Demonetisation clearly had an impact in early 2017. This resulted in a significant liquidity crunch, but was temporary," he said. 


"As the year went on, measures were implemented, financial relief were introduced, steps like credit support for small enterprise to help contain the shock that this demonetisation policy created," he said, adding that demonetisation has benefited the banking sector and increased the tax base -- which will help the fiscal accounts. 


"So, in the medium term, we think that this policy will help the Indian economy," Vergara said. 


According to the top UN economic official, 2017 has been a year of major economic reforms in India, particularly in the banking sector. 


"There has been deregulation and further liberalisation of the policies regarding foreign direct investment," he said. 


Vergara said these reforms are helping the Indian economy to improve its efficiency and increase the medium-term prospects of its economy. 


"In that sense these policy reforms are positive. Of course, we will see how these policies are implemented," he said. 


Source:-The Economic Times

As India prepares to celebrate the silver jubilee of its partnership with ASEAN in a big way, a key border trade link with Myanmar, the closest neighbour of the vibrant Southeast Asian bloc, continues to be hobbled by infrastructure and other issues -- 22 years after it was launched.


India's border trade with Myanmar takes place mainly through Moreh, in Manipur's Chandel district, which links with Tamu, located in Sagaing in northwest Myanmar. There is another border trade point through Zowkhathar in Mizoram with the corresponding point Rhi in Myanmar, but Moreh is the biggest border trade point.


Though India and Myanmar signed the border trade agreement on January 21, 1994, and it was made operational the following year, the bilateral border trade figure stands at $50 million -- a poor comparison to Myanmar's trade with China, which was around $6 billion last year.


Myanmar has four border trading points with China, of which the one at Muse, in northern Shan state, is the biggest. Around 80 per cent of Myanmar's formal overland trade with China passes through this post that links with Ruili, in China's Yunnan province.


While China has pumped in massive amounts of money to build modern infrastructure at Ruili and also in Yunnan province to boost connectivity with Myanmar, the infrastructure at the India-Myanmar border post, Moreh, is still inadequate. An Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Moreh has been in the works for the past 10 years and is yet to be completed.


Besides the difficult terrain and militancy that adversely affect border trade at Moreh-Tamu, India in December 2015 officially put an end to the barter system, or trading of goods without exchange of money. According to Myanmarese media reports, the ending of barter trade "killed" India-Myanmar border trade.


Professor Priyoranjan Singh, an economist at Manipur University, says that since the Government of India notification ending barter trade, "the present state is that formal trade, or normal official trade, stands at zero, and informal, or illegal trade -- or head load trade -- is going on".


He told IANS that there was a "huge information gap" between the two sides, including among the traders. "Our own Indian customs agency does not know the customs duty that Myanmar imposes on Indian goods," he said.


Singh, who has expertise in the field, feels that "seriousness is not there" in India on boosting border trade, while China exhibits "huge seriousness, which is something Myanmar likes".


Gautam Mukhopadhyay, the former Indian envoy to Myanmar, says there are reasons for China's border trade with Myanmar being more robust than India.


"First, Yunnan is a much better connected and more productive gateway from China to Myanmar than the Northeast of India to Myanmar. Secondly, for any Northeastern state of India to match China in cross-border trade, the region has to become a net producer than the consumer, and better connected to the main productive regions of India," Mukhopadhyay said.


He said efforts were being made in that direction. "But it will take some time and better coordination between our development, commercial and strategic policies for us to match China."


He said the government has tried to address the issue of low volumes by liberalising cross-border trade and moving to the Most Favoured Nation trade status, but there was a "need for a reliable system to determine countries of origin of goods". A lot of goods from China are available in the markets in the region.


Economist Ram Upendra Das, head of the Centre for Regional Trade, an autonomous institute under the Commerce Ministry, in his report on 'Enhancing India-Myanmar border trade' released last year by the ministry, says: "A major cause of discontent among local traders is that the pace of construction of Moreh ICP is very slow."


Das told IANS that "it is very important that border trade is conducted through formal channels", which would help increase the volume as India has slashed the tariff in a majority of items to zero, which means no border tax.


"There are an information gap and lack of understanding among the traders" on the benefits of conducting trade through the formal channel, he said. The informal trade would also give rise to corruption, in the form of levy imposed by militant groups and bribes, he added.


On China developing the infrastructure in Myanmar, Mukhopadhyay says: "China has made huge investments into power and extractive industries for its own interests, but very little into employment-intensive industries that really benefit Myanmar. China has been able to convert its more selfish investments into greater political clout than India. This is something we need to think about."


Source:- Business Standard