India and the U.S. are further on the path to implementing the civilian nuclear deal with senior nuclear department officials of both sides exchanging the signed text of the “administrative arrangements” that would guide the deal, says a report by ManoramaOnline. This follows the cryptic announcements made by both countries as President Obama arrived in New Delhi in January.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that the Indo-U.S. nuclear contact group had “acknowledged that policy hurdles no longer exist”. He also added that 100 officials from different countries with whom India is doing nuclear commerce are attending a workshop on India’s Nuclear Insurance Policy. The officials are from Japan, including from Toshiba, and from Westinghouse, which is to set up the U.S. -built reactors in India.
“All the biggest names in the nuclear field”, including from Russia’s Rosatom are attending the workshop. “All those doing business in India are here, trying to work out and understand issues,” Akbaruddin said.
March 24, 2015 1 Comment
Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, says that India a “bright spot” on a cloudy global horizon. She declared that India has the potential to double the size of its economy by 2019 compared to 2009.
During her visit to India, Lagarde commented, “India’s GDP will exceed that of Japan and Germany combined. Indian output will also exceed the combined output of the three next largest emerging market economies – Russia, Brazil and Indonesia…This year already, India’s growth rate is expected to exceed that of China,” reported Economic Times.
Five positive actions that have caught the attention of the IMF chief are:
- The Modi government and India’s central bank led by governor Raghuram Rajan who are “skillfully shifting the focus to good macroeconomic management, transparent government, and inclusive development,” said Lagarde in an interview to Times of India.
- The 2016 Indian budget “struck a good growth-equity balance. There’s emphasis on increasing the provision of public infrastructure, and within a fiscally-responsible framework,” she said.
- India’s fast growing economy in which the IMF expects India’s GDP growth to pick up to 7.2% in the current fiscal and accelerate to 7.5% in 2015-16 – making India the fastest growing large economy in the world. Lagarde commented, “India is indeed a bright spot, and economic development holds much promise. India has an opportunity to become one of the world’s most dynamic economies. My message will be: Seize it!”
- “India has prepared better than most emerging-market economies for external shocks by shrinking current account deficit and increasing stock of international reserves; the higher GDP growth expected now, should help,” Lagarde noted.
- India’s subsidy reforms for reducing poverty, where the government has put in place a program to ensure welfare payments reach intended beneficiaries is commendable, Lagarde feels.
March 20, 2015 No Comments
The volume of international transfers of major weapons in 2010–14 was 16 per cent higher than in 2005–2009 according to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The five biggest exporters in 2010–14 were the United States, Russia, China, Germany and France, and the five biggest importers were India, Saudi Arabia, China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Pakistan. India accounted for 15% of all arms imports and its main suppliers include Israel, Russia, the United Kingdom and increasingly the United States.
Between 2005–2009 and 2010–14 imports increased by 140 per cent. In 2010–14 India’s imports were three times larger than those of either of its regional rivals China and Pakistan. This contrasts with 2005–2009 when India’s imports were 23 per cent below China’s and just over double those of Pakistan. India has so
far failed to produce competitive indigenous-designed weapons and remains dependent on imports.
March 16, 2015 No Comments
Of the BRIC economies, Brazil is struggling as commodity prices fall, Russia is headed toward recession due to weak oil revenues and sanctions from Western nations, while China is slowing down. However, in India the stock market and rupee are surging; multinational companies are looking to start new operations or expand their current ones; foreign investment rules have been relaxed for insurers, military contractors, and real estate companies; and a broad tax overhaul is underway. Whether India’s momentum is sustainable or short-lived depends on whether Prime Minister Modi can push through deeper reforms.
The New York Times quotes Shailesh V. Haribhakti, the chairman of MentorCap Management, a boutique investment bank in Mumbai as saying, “All the circumstances have come together to make manufacturing and growth happen.”
With prices of crude halved, fuel costs have dropped and along with it, transport expenses and inflation. The country’s chronic budget deficits are narrowing. “We’ve got essentially a $50 billion gift for the economy,” said Raghuram G. Rajan, the governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
Modi has many economic issues on his plate that he needs to attend to: expanding the private sector’s role in coal mining, a government-dominated industry; accelerating infrastructure projects; replacing state taxes on goods that cross state borders with a national tax; and acting on bills introducing longer term reforms.
Jayant Sinha, the minister of state for finance said that the government had begun making significant changes and that “there are a lot of inherited, legacy issues” they have had to work through such as budget deficits and persistent inflation. “You have to give us a little bit of time for every business to feel the difference,” he said.
February 19, 2015 No Comments
According to the Hurun Global Rich List, India leapfrogged Russia and the United Kingdom to third place with 97 billionaires living in the country, 27 more than 2014. Manufacturing, pharma and TMT (technology, media, and telecom) are the preferred sectors. The combined wealth of Indian billionaires, mostly headquartered in Mumbai, is $266 billion. Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries ($20bn, rank 41) continue to be the richest Indian.
The U.S. stands first with 537 billionaires, followed by China with 430. In all, Hurun counted 2,089 of the world’s richest people to publish its annual list of dollar billionaires for 2015 reports Quartz.
February 12, 2015 No Comments