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India's growth is expected to rebound to 7.2 per cent in the 2017-18 fiscal and 7.7 per cent in 2018-19 after disruptions caused by demonetisation, the IMF said on Tuesday, while recommending the removal of long-standing structural bottlenecks to enhance market efficiency


The temporary disruptions (primarily to private consumption) caused by cash shortages accompanying the currency exchange initiative are expected to gradually dissipate in 2017 as cash shortages ease, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its regional economic outlook.


Such disruptions would also be offset by tailwinds from a favourable monsoon season and continued progress in resolving supply-side bottlenecks, the IMF said. The investment recovery is expected to remain modest and uneven across sectors as deleveraging takes place and industrial capacity utilisation picks up, it noted


"In India, growth is projected to rebound to 7.2 per cent in FY 2017-18 and further to 7.7 per cent in FY2018-19," the IMF said


"Headwinds from weaknesses in India's bank and corporate balance sheets will also weigh on near-term credit growth. Confidence and policy credibility gains, including from continued fiscal consolidation and anti-inflationary monetary policy, continue to underpin macroeconomic stability," the IMF said


The IMF maintains a positive outlook on the Indian economic growth and is confident that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation will be smooth


ALSO READ:  India to grow 7.5% next year on higher infra spending, says U


"India is one of the countries that have excellently performing reforms and that is one of the major reasons for the country to maintain one of the highest economic growth rates (in the world)," said Changyong Rhee, director for Asia and Pacific Department at IMF at a press conference in Singapore after presenting Asia and Pacific Regional Outlook report


Touching on GST, he said, "We have been working very closely with India in preparing the introduction of GST. I am very confident that India has prepared the GST introduction in the past couple of years.


He pointed out that implementation of such tax system remains very challenging especially preparation of system integration between the government and the business sectors


According to the report, growth in Asia is forecast to accelerate to 5.5 per cent in 2017 from 5.3 per cent in 2016


Growth in China and Japan is revised upward for 2017 compared to the October 2016 World Economic Outlook, owing mainly to continued policy support and strong recent data


Growth is revised downward in India due to temporary effects from the currency exchange initiative and in South Korea owing to political uncertainty. Over the medium term, slower growth in China is expected to be partially offset by an acceleration of growth in India, underpinned by key structural reforms


According to the report, in India, improving productivity in the agriculture sector, which is the most labour-intensive sector and employs about half of Indian workers, remains a key challenge


More needs to be done to address long-standing structural bottlenecks and enhance market efficiency, including from liberalising commodity markets to giving farmers more flexibility in the distribution and marketing of their produce, which will help raise competitiveness, efficiency, and transparency in state agriculture markets, it said


In addition, input subsidies to farmers should be administered through direct cash transfers rather than underpricing of agricultural inputs, as such subsidies to the agriculture sector have had large negative impacts on agricultural output, the IMF said.


Source:Business Today

Prime minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious plan to build homes for all Indians by 2022 could spark an economic revolution worth $1.3 trillion, which is a little more than Mexico’s GDP


Between 2018 and 2024, some 60 million new homes are set to be built, mostly under the government’s affordable housing programme, as Asia’s third-largest economy looks to upgrade its people’s quality of life


This is expected to create over 2 million jobs annually and add up to 75 basis points to India’s GDP, brokerage firm CLSA said in a report last week.“The housing sector is at a tipping point and will be the economy’s next big growth driver,” the report said. “The catalyst is the government’s big push for an ambitious housing program.


Since coming to power in 2014, Modi has focussed on expanding affordable housing. In June 2015, he announced his mission to construct 20 million homes across the country by 2022. In February 2017, for the first time, India gave the affordable housing sector infrastructure status, which will incentivise and subsidise it, besides ensuring tax benefits and institutional funding


Last December, as Indian banks’ coffers filled up with cash following the demonetisation of high-value currency notes, the government launched two schemes to make it easier for the poor to access housing. First, it offered a discount of 4% on the interest rate for loans of up to Rs9 lakh for low-income individuals building homes. For loans worth up to Rs12 lakh, the interest rate was to be discounted by 3%. Secondly, in rural India, Modi promised a 3% interest waiver on loans up to Rs2 lakh to modify a house


The report came shortly before India put into effect a new law aimed at regulating the real estate sector. Under the new law, each state and union territory in India will have its own regulator. It also requires companies to create an escrow account, where 70% of the money collected from the buyers of under-construction homes will have to be deposited. This money can only be used for the construction of the project.Overall, things have been looking stable for the industry for a while. “In the past five years, mortgage rates have dropped 250 basis points, property prices have remained broadly stable and per capita incomes have posted a 10% CAGR,” the CLSA report said


Now, the stage seems set for a real takeoff for realty.


Source:Quartz Media

Newly-elected official KNRI Forum - UAE president and chairman of Fortune Group of Hotels, Praveen Kumar Shetty in association with well-known philanthropist and entrepreneur Ronald Colaco hosted the first ever historical KNRI-UAE Business Meet with chief minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah at Fortune Park Hotel, Dubai Investment Park on Saturday April 29 evening with many well-known business community Kannadiga invitees along with KNRI-UAE office-bearers.


Ronald Olivera as master of ceremony welcomed CM Siddaramaiah, Ronald Colaco, Praveen Shetty and all the dignified members of KNRI to the business meet and elaborated on the event. CM Siddaramaiah was honoured with a shaul by Ronald Colaco and a bouquet by Praveen Shetty. Other distinguished guests, Dr Arathi Krishna, vice-president of NRI Forum, government of Karnataka, L K Atheeq, principal secretary to the Karnataka government, Govindaraju, parliament secretary, former MLA H Srinivas, MLA Mohiuddin Bava and other dignitaries were also welcomed with bouquets. Philanthropist Ronald Colaco was welcomed with a bouquet by Praveen Shetty.


CM Siddaramaiah later inaugurated the event with the traditional lighting of the lamp along with Ronald Colaco and Praveen Shetty.Praveen Shetty rendered the welcome speech and thanked all those who had wholeheartedly come to the event and also mentioned special thanks to the CM for accepting his invitation. He also thanked Ronald Colaco for supporting him in this historical event.


Be united in the interest of Karnataka: Ronald Colaco to NRIs


Philanthropist Ronald Colaco beautifully introduced CM Siddaramaiah with step by step chronological narration of a humble person's life story from his early days to his meteoric rise to the current position, and his transformation into becoming a leader of all Kannadigas. "I feel proud to say that I have known CM Siddaramaiah closely all these years and I respect him as a true leader," he said.


"When we have a person like Siddaramaiah, who, with a humble beginning, having been born in a poor family, rose from being a cattle grazing boy to become the chief minister of Karnataka, then who better than him do we require as role model to emulate?" Colaco said. He also stated that when Siddaramaiah, after becoming the finance minister for the first time during 1994 and made an attempt to present his maiden budget, the opposition were sarcastic with their comments as to what knowledge a shepherd would have of accounting. Siddaramaiah took this comment as a challenge and earned the rare distinction of a finance minister who went on to present ten annual state budgets thereafter, with some of his budgets had been rated as the best of all time.


"Siddaramaiah's real concern for the marginalised and downtrodden people of our state prompted him to start the AHINDA movement for the benefit of dalits, backward classes and minorities. He has introduced various welfare schemes like Anna Bhagya, Ksheera Bhagya, Vidya Siri, Kere Sanjeevni, etc," Colaco said.


At the beginning of his talk, Colaco heralded the sincere efforts of Praveen Shetty in organising the registration of KNRI Forum in UAE as well as the NRI business men/women meet in Dubai and expressed displeasure over some individuals' and groups' deliberate attempt to create controversies which is not in good taste and which brings disrepute to the people of Karnataka on a foreign soil and therefore urged everyone to be united and supportive of all programmes organised by anybody irrespective of whether it is Praveen Shetty or others, in the best interest and image of the state as well as people of Karnataka. Colaco also reminded the audience about the solemn need to uphold the unity and dignity of a country like Bharat heralded for its largest democracy in the world in spite of enumerous diversities having multiple regions, religions, languages,castes, cultures, traditions, food habits, dress code, etc, yet maintaining harmony and unity in diversity.


Karnataka No 1 investor-friendly state: Siddaramaiah


The evening continued with the introduction of all the invited Kannadiga NRI business community people who one by one introduced themselves to the audience as well as the CM, who was carefully listening all through.


The CM later thanked Ronald Colaco for his wonderful introduction as well as Praveen Shetty and Colaco for hosting such an event and thanked the Kannadiga NRI business community for attending the event. He then repeated some of his briefings of the previous day's KNRI-UAE inauguration speech and said that it may educate those who had not attended the historical event. He requoted the words of the famous Kannada poet Kuvempu "Wherever you live, however you live, be a Kannadiga (Yelladuruiru, Yenthadaruiru, Yendendigu nee Kannada Vagiru)".


While briefing that Karnataka now has become the number 1 investment-friendly state for Indians and also number 2 for foreign direct investments, he promised full cooperation and support with legal assistance to all investors in their ventures in Karnataka. While welcoming new investors he said that the Karnataka government has started the Pravasi Bharatiya Conference which identifies the 'Varshada Kannadiga' (Kannadiga of the Year) and honours the identified NRI with the award every year. He also briefed on the NRI Forum, Karnataka's slogan 'One State – Many Opportunities' and said that Karnataka is the IT hub of the world with the state contributing over 40% of the IT exports of India.


He added that the GDP of the state grew at 5.3% as against 5% of the country's GDP. Karnataka is the ideal location for hi-tech industries like aerospace, automobiles, IT and BT. Bengaluru is the Silicon Valley of India and Karnataka is the knowledge hub of Asia. The pamphlet distributed by the NRI Forum Karnataka states that Karnataka ranks 5th in India for growing vegetable crops, it is the largest producer of floriculture, spices, aromatic and medicinal crops and fruits, producer of 70% of India’s coffee, 3rd highest producer of sugar in India and has major scope for agri-exports, animal husbandry, poultry, milk and fisheries, he said.


A question-answer session followed, wherein some of the NRI Kannadigas raised valuable questions, to which the CM responded. Hafiz Saifulla, CEO of Zhumino Group of Companies highlighted on the vegetable exports from India which is banned due to poor methodology, stressing that Karnataka should follow the methodology of Europe and set standards for Karnataka-based perishable products. CM answering to his question invited him to raise this issue directly with him so that he could work on solutions to this issue.


There were various other questions including one on providing spaces in some of the industrial zones and/or granting special zones for KNRIs in those specified zones. Dr Kaup Mohammed, one of the respected members, also stressed on giving permission to foreign educational institutes and universities to open in Karnataka so that Kannadiga students get opportunities to opt for higher studies in Karnataka instead of going to Europe.


The CM informed that there is an online link created by the government for all the queries one may have and NRI Kannadigas could log in to it anytime to know Karnataka better. He assured that his government is looking into all the grievances of Kannadigas worldwide and will be more than happy to address each and every issue. He said that in the government's efforts to take Karnataka forward and tranform it into a complaint-free state, it would provide all assistance to Kannadigas in need.


Ronald Olivera concluded the evening with the vote of thanks which was followed by sumptuous dinner hosted by Fortune Group of Hotels.


Broadway Events headed by Joel Crasta supported both the KNRI-UAE main event and the business dinner event with sounds and lights.



Following the launch of New Delhi’s Look East policy in the 1990s, India and Taiwan gradually moved towards building informal ties. The latter sought to develop military and strategic cooperation with India in order to counter mainland China, especially during the previous Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government in 2001. India, however, opted for caution and preferred not to antagonise Beijing


Ties with Taiwan have, however, received a boost with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Act East policy and the New Southbound Policy initiative of Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen. Having made a strong pitch for participating in Modi’s initiatives on ‘Make in India,’ ‘Skill India’ and ‘Smart Cities’, Taiwan is well poised to collaborate with New Delhi in its push for promoting manufacturing and infrastructure technology, including hardware aspects of the infotech (IT) industry


The process would potentially create tens of thousands of jobs in India by utilising Taiwan’s formidable expertise in low-cost housing and help augment indigenous capacity for ship building and commercial fishing. Taiwan’s decision to launch its indigenous submarine project should also interest India as part of a long term policy


There are plans for setting up manufacturing bases in information and communication technologies, consumer electronics, automobile parts etc. India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) signed a memo with Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association to promote cooperation and investment between the two countries in electronic system design and manufacturing


Taiwan has been pushing for an accord on the lines of a free trade agreement. For instance Taiwanese multinational Foxconn, which manufacturers the iconic Apple iPhones and iPads, proposes to set up manufacturing, research and development operations in India. The company signed a MoU with Maharashtra in 2015, pledging to invest $5 billion over five years. It was the first major FDI proposal after Modi launched his ‘Make in India’ scheme


A simple initiative which will nonetheless immediately encourage Taiwanese businessmen and raise the profile of India-Taiwan commercial ties are separate visits by our HRD and commerce ministers. The focus on building economic ties should give no cause for offence to Beijing, which itself has hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese businessmen residing, working and manufacturing on its soil


The other area where Taiwan can be of assistance is in education. It has good technological institutions and excellent facilities for teaching Mandarin. Taiwan is among the best China watchers and one willing to host Indian military students at its National Defence University (NDU). India can gain by strengthening educational ties with Taiwan, which already offers numerous scholarships to Indian students


India has signed agreements with South Korea, the US and Japan for freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, maritime security and in maintaining regional stability in the Asia-Pacific. Taiwan shares their strategic objectives in the region and has approached Japan and South Korea for a partnership. Taiwan controls Itu Aba, the largest island in the Spratly chain, along with the Pratas Island, which controls the South China Sea’s northeast exit. This makes Taiwan an important ally for not only furthering India’s interest in east Asia but also for monitoring China’s expansion in east Asia


But it has not been smooth sailing all the way. Miffed with Taiwan over its pursuit of an independent course, China has been discouraging its allies South Africa, Nigeria and Cambodia from interaction with Taiwan. Recently Cheng-yi Lin, a Taiwanese minister responsible for mainland affairs, said: “Beijing will try to block our New Southbound Policy only because they will like to see Taiwanese investments go to mainland China and not to diversify our outgoing investments.” Similarly, Beijing warned New Delhi against playing the ‘Taiwan card’ when a Taiwanese parliamentary delegation visited India in February 2017


Some foreign ministry mandarins maintain that New Delhi should play the ‘Taiwan card’ and make China adhere to a ‘One India’ policy. Others feel that the MEA, following in the footsteps of previous governments, should obtain advance sanction from Beijing for projects with Taiwan. Given that India strives to chart an independent foreign policy course, it is not desirable that India seek Chinese approval or keep China in the loop about its dealings with Taiwan when Beijing itself deeply engages with Taipei


The deepening of India-Taiwan relations is mutually beneficial for both countries and the possibilities of such a relationship can encompass strategic, defence, people to people, education and economic ties.


Source:The Times of India

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asserted that India was never a more promising investment destination than it is today as his government completes three years in office later this month.


The BJP-led NDA (national Democratic Alliance) government stormed to power in May 2014, winning by a huge majority.


Addressing the India-Turkey Business Summit here, Modi said that since coming to power in this very month three years ago, the government has launched several initiatives to reform the economy and administrative processes.


The government also launched several flagship programmes like Make in India, Startup India and Digital India.




"Today, Indian economy is the fastest growing major economy in the world. In addition to maintaining this pace, our focus is to remove the inefficiencies from the system," the Prime Minister said.


The government, Modi said, is in the process of building a New India, adding that the focus is on improving ease of doing business by reforming policies, processes and procedures.


Seeking Turkish investments, the PM said there is a huge potential and opportunity to enhance bilateral engagement.




This, he felt, is possible through trade and FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) inflows, technology tie-ups and cooperation on various projects.


"Let us work together for enhancing the level of our economic activities for welfare of our people. From the Indian side, I welcome you with open arms. I can say with confidence that India was never a more promising destination than it is today," the PM said.


He called on the chambers of commerce and industry of both sides to engage with each other pro-actively and work closely, both at the government and B2B levels.


"I know that Turkish construction companies have successfully undertaken many construction and infrastructure projects in other countries. Our infrastructure requirements are enormous, including core as well as social and industrial infrastructure," he said.




Referring to opportunities in India, Modi said the country plans to build 50 million houses by 2022, metro rail projects in 50 cities and high-speed trains in various national corridors.


The two-way trade has gone up to $6.4 billion in 2016, from $2.8 billion in 2008.


"While this is encouraging, the level of present economic and commercial relations is not enough against the real potential," Modi said.


He spoke of energy, mining, textile, automobile and food processing as other areas that offer great promise.




In his address to the Summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a free trade agreement (FTA) with India to expand the ambit of bilateral economic ties.


He also suggested that the two should explore the possibility of trade in local currency to deal with exchange rate fluctuations.


Hardselling his country as an ideal tourist destination, the president said Indian families are increasingly organising wedding ceremonies in Turkey in recent years.


"Therefore, we would like to host more Indian tourists in Turkey... you can come to Turkey for honeymoon. We would like to host you in Turkey," he added.


The visiting president said Turkish companies can participate in India's project to develop 100 smart cities.


Source:Mumbai Mirror