New Delhi:India will witness strong economic growth in the coming year, despite external vulnerabilities arising from rising oil prices, the US-China trade war and America’s monetary tightening, the Confederation of Indian Industry body (CII) said.
Commenting on the country’s growth outlook for 2019, the industry body said its optimism is buttressed by strong drivers emanating from services sector, infrastructure structure including construction equipment and better demand conditions arising out of spending occasioned by the general elections due in early 2019.
“Better demand conditions, settled GST implementation, capacity expansion from growing investments in infrastructure, continuing positive effects of reform policies and improved credit offtake especially in the services sector at 24 per cent will sustain the robust GDP growth in the range of 7.5 per cent in 2019,” CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said in a statement.
“The positive outlook is buttressed by strong drivers emanating from services sector, infrastructure structure including construction equipment and better demand conditions arising out of election spending,” CII said.
According to the chamber, among the key drivers for growth that need to be fostered include extending the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to currently exempted sectors such as fuel, real estate, electricity and alcohol.
Noting that credit flow to industry grew by only 2.3 per cent in first half of the current fiscal, CII said credit availability has been a challenge, particularly for the micro, small and medium enterprises.
“CII submits that the RBI should introduce measures such as revisiting lending restrictions of PCA (Prompt Corrective Action) banks, opening of a limited special liquidity window to meet emergencies of financial institutions, including mutual funds, besides others to improve liquidity in the system,” it said.
The government should consider setting up additional benches of the National Company Law Tribunal to strengthen the judicial infrastructure for easier and faster insolvency resolution, it said.
CII also emphasised the need to persuade states to implement the Agriculture Produce and Livestock Marketing Model Act, which has been implemented by only four states, in order to strengthen agriculture produce marketing.
On the critical energy sector, the industry body suggested that India needs to increase domestic production of oil, providing a special window for state-run oil marketing companies to procure fuel and step up diplomacy with the US to continue to secure purchases of crude from under-sanctions Iran.
Cabinet clears setting up of centralised GST appellate authority
New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved setting up of a centralised Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling (AAAR) under the goods and services tax that would decide on cases where there are divergent orders at the state level.
The setting up of a centralised AAAR would require amendments to the GST Acts. The centralised authority as an appellate body will only take up cases wherein the Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) of two states have passed divergent orders.
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and comprising state counterparts, in December decided to establish the centralised AAAR.
“The Cabinet has cleared the GST appellate authority,” a source said after the meeting of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In view of the confusion created by contradictory rulings given by different AARs on the same or similar issues, the industry had been demanding a centralised appellate authority that could reconcile the contradictory verdicts of different AARs.
Urbanisation to be big driver of Indian economic growth: Kant
Davos: Urbanisation will be a big driver of economic growth in India going forward, supported by favourable macroeconomic factors, accelerated infrastructure building and continuing reforms, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said.
Speaking here at an event on sidelines of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, he also said the Indian economy may even exceed the IMF growth forecast of 7.5 per cent for the country.
Kant said IMF has forecast 7.5 per cent growth for India despite a gloomy outlook for the global economy and this itself is good, though there are expectations that this estimate would be surpassed. He said India is giving a big push to urbanisation with more than 100 smart cities being developed.
The country is also using technology in a big way to change the way business and governance is done, he added. Besides a massive infrastructure building is happening, bank credit flow has rebounded and macroeconomic factors like inflation and fiscal deficit are also being supportive, Kant said.
DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek noted that states are competing with each other to attract investments and all political parties have adopted the economic reform process. He listed various reform initiatives undertaken in India, including on areas like ease of doing business, FDI, manufacturing and taxation.
They were speaking at Institutional investors’ breakfast roundtable, organised by the industry chamber CII and Kotak Mahindra Bank. Other participants included CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee and leaders from Indian and foreign companies.
On questions about some persisting issues in doing business including on tax and insolvency related issues, Abhishek said a lot of efforts have been put in to remove all bottlenecks and starting a business doesn’t take more than a day. Besides, special provisions have been made for startups and angel investors, he added.
Kant said efforts are also being made to remove all physical intervention and digitise the entire process of inter-ministerial and inter-department consultations to fast-track the decisions.
India will surpass China, says Raghuram Rajan
Davos: India will eventually surpass China in economic size and will be in a better position to create the infrastructure being promised by the Chinese side in South Asian countries, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said.
Addressing a session on Strategic Outlook for South Asia, Dr Rajan said that the Indian economy would continue to grow while growth rate is slowing down in China.
“Historically, India had a bigger role in the region but China has now grown much bigger than India and has presented itself as a counter-balance to India in the region,” Dr Rajan said at the WEF Annual Meeting 2019.
“India will become bigger than China eventually as China would slow down and India would continue to grow. So India will be in a better position to create the infrastructure in the region which China is promising today. But this competition is good for the region and it will benefit for sure,” he said.
The comments assume significance with China working on a lot of infrastructure projects across the region. In 2017, India became the sixth largest economy with a GDP of $2.59 trillion while China was the second large with a GDP of $12.23 trillion.
At the same session, Nepal PM K.P. Sharma Oli cited collaboration with China as well as India as reasons for the economic growth.
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