Mumbai :The Indian economy has recovered from the adverse impacts of demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax and is projected to grow by 7.3% in 2018 and 7.5% in 2019, the World Bank has said.
Indian recovery will lift South Asia as a region and make it the world’s fastest growing again, possibly even widening the lead over East Asia and the Pacific, said the World Bank’s bi-annual South Asia Economic Focus report released on Sunday. It will drive South Asia growth to 6.9% in 2018 and 7.1% in 2019.
“South Asia had lost the lead as India decelerated for about five quarters, and now it is clear that India is bouncing back,” the Bank’s chief economist for South Asia Martin Rama said in an interview.
“The acceleration of growth that we see in the region is not necessarily that all countries in the region are doing much better, it’s a mixed picture, but given the size of India, India’s bouncing back is driving the growth,” he added.
But job creation is a concern. Despite growth, India was not creating enough jobs.
The report said: “India must create 8.1 million jobs a year to maintain its employment rate, which has been declining largely due to women leaving the job market.”
The decline on account of women dropping out is “happening in areas that are borderline between urban and rural (and) as farming jobs disappear and other types of jobs do not appear,” said Rama, referring to existing research.
He added: “In the traditional village societies, working on the farm was a bit like working at home but now you are becoming urban and you have to go somewhere” else such as construction and other small service sector work.
India grew by an estimated 6.7% in 2017 as per the World Bank’s estimates (there are several counts, including one by India) and is forecast to grow by 7.3% in 2018, and 7.5% in both 2019 and 2020.
“I am very confident that India can deliver growth rates in the range of 7 to 8% for quite some time without much work, just keeping good policies … (but) the question is can it do more?” said Rama.
“There was a time India was getting close to double-digit growth … can India get there? The answer is yes but it requires a very clear policy orientation on energy infrastructure trade and things like that,” he added.
Asked if double-digit growth in sight, he said: “I am not saying it’s in sight, but it’s possible.”
Indian recovery, Rama said, could be due to multiple factors. One, because of growing domestic demand and domestic consumption. And the other was from the point of view of policy.
There were a couple of things that contributed to the slowdown of India, which were temporary in nature, he said, pointing to the effect of demonetisation and the transition to GST, both of which may be positive in the long run but was disruptive in the short term.
Rama was referring to India’s surprise decision to withdraw large denomination currency notes in November 2016, to rid the economy of unaccounted money and drive it towards formalisation, but which had also led to a crippling cash crunch. And the rollout in 2017 of the unified tax system, the GST.
These two temporarily disruptive developments came at a time of a “decline mainly related to investments and exports,” he noted.
That phase is over and the economy is bouncing back. The World Bank report said India should take advantage of it and strive to accelerate investments and exports.
US to eliminate Iran oil sanctions waiver for India, 7 others:Report
Washington: The United States is expected to announce that all importers of Iranian oil will have to end their imports shortly or be subject to US sanctions, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters.
The source confirmed a report by a Washington Post columnist that the administration will terminate the sanctions waivers it had granted to some importers of Iranian oil late last year.
US President Donald Trump has been clear to his national security team over the last few weeks that he wants the waivers to end, and national security adviser John Bolton has been working the issue within the administration.
The US reimposed sanctions in November on exports of Iranian oil after Trump unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers Washington is pressuring Iran to curtail its nuclear program and stop backing militant proxies across the Middle East.
Along with sanctions, Washington has also granted waivers to eight economies that had reduced their purchases of Iranian oil, allowing them to continue buying it without incurring sanctions for six more months
They were China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece.
But on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will announce “that, as of May 2, the State Department will no longer grant sanctions waivers to any country that is currently importing Iranian crude or condensate,” the Post’s columnist Josh Rogin said in his report, citing two State Department officials that he did not name
Frank Fannon, US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, repeated the administration’s position that “Our goal is to get to zero Iranian exports as quickly as possible.
“Other countries have been watching to see whether the United States would continue the waivers. Last Tuesday, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that Turkey expects the United States to extend a waiver granted to Ankara to continue oil purchases from Iran without violating US sanctions.
Turkey did not support US sanctions policy on Iran and did not think it would yield the desired result, Kalin told reporters in Washington.
Washington has a campaign of ‘maximum economic pressure’ on Iran and through sanctions, it eventually aims to halt Iranian oil exports and thereby choke Tehran’s main source of revenue.
So far in April, Iranian exports were averaging below 1 million barrels per day (bpd), according to Refinitiv Eikon data and two other companies that track such exports and declined to be identified.
That is lower than at least 1.1 million bpd as estimated for March, and down from more than 2.5 million bpd before sanctions were reimposed last May. Brent crude futures , the international oil benchmark, were up nearly 2 per cent at USD 73.25 a barrel, on the report that the waivers were to end.
Maruti drives in Baleno with BS VI compliant petrol engine
New Delhi: The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Said it has launched its premium hatchback Baleno with BS VI emission norms compliant petrol engine, priced between Rs 5.58 lakh and Rs 8.9 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
The auto major has also introduced two variants of the car with smart hybrid technology. The trim with 1.2 litre DUALJET, DUAL VVT petrol engine is priced at Rs 7.25 lakh, while the Zeta variant is tagged at Rs 7.86 lakh. As per the company, the models with smart hybrid technology would deliver a fuel efficiency of 23.87 km/litre.
“At Maruti Suzuki, we strive to bring newer, better and environment friendly technologies to our products. Baleno Smart Hybrid with BS VI stands testament to the same. We are confident that the premium hatchback Baleno will present a complete package in line with aspirations of evolving customers,” MSI Senior Executive Director Marketing & Sales R S Kalsi said in a statement.
The company said in order to achieve the stringent emission regulation requirement, it has upgraded both engine hardware and software along with exhaust system.”Baleno is country’s first premium hatchback to be offered with Smart Hybrid technology,” it added.
MSI has sold over 5.5 lakh Baleno units since its launch in 2015. It sold more than 2 lakh units of the hatchback in the last fiscal year.
SpiceJet, Emirates sign MoU for code share partnership
Mumbai: Budget carrier Spicejet announced signing of an initial pact for code share partnership with Gulf carrier Emirates.
The reciprocal partnership will allow opening of new routes and destinations for passengers of the two airlines, SpiceJet said in a statement.
“I am delighted to announce that as part of SpiceJet’s international expansion strategy, we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a code share agreement,” SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh said in the statement.
SpiceJet passengers from 51 domestic destinations will be able to access Emirates’ network across the US, Europe, Africa and Middle East, it added.
Code-sharing allows an airline to book its passengers on its partner carriers and provide seamless travel to destinations where it has no presence.