ECONOMY - 2018 SEPTEMBER

September 1

Netmeds raises $35 million.
Online pharmacy Netmeds has raised $35 million (over ₹320 crore) in Series C funding round from Daun Penh’s investment holding, Singapore, and existing investors.
The company had earlier in October 2017, raised $14 million from Tanncam and Sistema Asia Fund.
The company would use the funds to both increase awareness through marketing efforts as well as to enhance the customer experience.

‘You cannot expect 8% GDP growth without having infrastructure’.
Germany-based global powerhouse Siemens, with revenues of €83 billion, has been present in India since 1867 and was instrumental in laying the first Indo-European telegraph line connecting London with Kolkata, leading to transmission of a message in just ‘28’ minutes, making it a worldwide sensation in the 19th century.
Given your long operating history in India, Siemens Ltd. had a revenue of only Rs. 11,348 crore and profit of Rs. 1,134 crore in FY 2017 compared with global revenues of €83 billion and profits of €6.2 billion.
GDP today is $2 trillion, and 15% of that is $300 billion. Let’s assume that in 7-8 years, $2 trillion will become $4 trillion with 7-8% growth. So, 25% of $4 trillion is $1 trillion.

GST mop-up drops to Rs. 93,960 crore in August.
GST collections dropped to Rs. 93,960 crore in August from Rs. 96,483 crore in the previous month. The total number of GSTR (Goods and Services Tax Returns) 3B filed for the month of July up to August 31, 2018, is 67 lakh.
Explaining reasons for the dip, the main factors is probable postponement of sale of items for which tax rate was reduced by the GST Council in its meeting on July 21. The rate cut was effective July 27.
Since it would have taken some time for the market to pass on the benefit of reduced taxes, consumers would have postponed their decision to buy expecting the benefit. Also, the last date of filing return of July, 2018, in Kerala was extended up to October 5, 2018, in view of the floods.

September 2

Wipro bags $1.6 billion contract, its largest-ever.
Wipro bagged a $1.6 billion 10-year contract, its largest to date, to provide digital solutions to Illinois-based Alight Solutions LLC, the company announced.
This deal will result in revenues of $1.5 to $1.6 billion for Wipro over the tenure, the company in a statement. This is Wipro’s largest win to date.
Alight is a provider of benefits administration and cloud-based human resources and financial solutions. It has 12 global centres.

Walmart's payment on Flipkart deal: Income Tax dept to wait till September 7th.
The Income Tax Department will wait till September 7 for settlement of withholding tax by Walmart on payments made to about 44 shareholders exiting e-commerce firm Flipkart before it proceeds in the case.
US-based retail giant Walmart Inc. had completed acquisition of 77% stake in Flipkart for about $16 billion deal in mid-August. As per the provisions of the I-T law, Walmart has to deduct withholding tax on payments made to sellers and deposit it with the Indian authorities on the seventh day of the subsequent month, which falls on September 7.
The Walmart has not yet approached the tax department to ascertain the withholding tax liability, although some shareholders of Flipkart who are exiting the e-commerce company have sought guidance on their tax liability.

September 3

Internet Society, ISPAI join hands to secure Internet infrastructure in India.
In a bid to make Internet safe and secure in India, US-based nonprofit The Internet Society and the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will look into securing routers which is vital for a healthy Internet infrastructure.
The partnership would promote the Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) a global initiative to implement the crucial fixes needed to reduce the most common threats to the Internet's routing system and safeguard the enterprises and the government from cyber threats.
The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in), 44,679, 49,455 and 50,362 cyber security incidents took place in India during 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively.

ITI inks pacts with start-ups for manufacturing of ICT-IoT based solutions.
State-owned ITI Ltd signed agreements with start-ups and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) covering the manufacturing of a wide range of ICT-IOT based solutions.
ITI Ltd has also entered into an agreement with Telecommunication Engineering Center (TEC), New Delhi, for establishment of state-of-the-art telecom testing labs at its Bengaluru plant to facilitate mandatory testing of imported and indigenous telecom equipment in India.
The agreements were signed in the presence of Union Telecom and Communications Minister Manoj Sinha and Telecom Secretary and Chairman of the Telecom Commission Aruna Sundararajan on the sidelines of the first edition of ITI's two-day 'ICT & IoT Startup Tech Expo' in Bengaluru.

September 4

Amazon follows Apple to cross trillion-dollar milestone.
Amazon.com became the second U.S. Company to reach $1 trillion in stock market value; just weeks after Apple hit the same milestone.
Shares in the world’s largest online retailer last traded up 1.4% at $2,041.68. Its shares hit the $2050.2677 level to give its stock a value of $1 trillion.
Amazon crossed the $2,000 threshold for the first time on August 30 after doubling its price in just 10 months. Amazon shares first hit $1,000 on October 27, 2017. It first reached $100 on October 23, 2009.
Amazon has revolutionized how people shop online and is the world’s dominant Internet retailer. In two decades the company expanded far beyond its bookseller beginnings, combining its world-spanning retail operation with less flashy but very profitable advertising and cloud computing businesses.

Fuel prices touch new high on low INR.
The prices of petrol and diesel touched a new high with Mumbai paying the maximum among the four metros. While petrol costs Rs. 86.72 a litre, diesel is priced at Rs. 75.74 a litre.
In Delhi, the petrol price has been raised to a record Rs. 79. 31 a litre, while diesel price has been increased to Rs. 71.34 a litre, which is also at a record high.
The price build-up of petrol in Delhi includes excise duty of Rs. 19.48, dealer commission of Rs. 3.63, and VAT of Rs. 16.83 (including VAT on dealer commission).
Similarly, the price build-up of diesel in Delhi at Rs. 71.15 a litre includes excise duty of Rs. 15.33, dealer commission of Rs. 2.51, and VAT of Rs. 10.46 (including VAT on dealer commission).

Rupee breaches 71.50 versus the dollar.
The rupee weakened for the fifth consecutive session as it breached the 71.50 a dollar mark on concerns over worsening macroeconomic parameters amid rise in oil prices.
After closing 71.21 a dollar, the currency opened marginally lower at 71.24 a dollar and weakened to hit a new low during the end of the trading session. The rupee closed at 71.58 a dollar, which was a record closing low.
The rupee, which has depreciated by 11.5% so far, is the worst performing currency in Asia this year. The yield on 10-year benchmark government bond inched up 6 bps to close at 8.06%.

September 5

Government gets Rs 3,000 crore from Advance Pricing Agreements with MNCs, but pacts slowing.
The government has not only received Rs 3,000 crore of additional tax from MNCs that have entered into advance pricing agreements (APAs) with it over the last five years, it has eliminated a big source of tax litigation. Between FY06 and FY15, around Rs 2.6 lakh crore were added by the taxman to the income of MNCs through what are called ‘transfer pricing adjustments’.
The annual report on APAs for FY18, just released by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) says the 219 APAs resulted in MNCs accepting an extra income of Rs 10,000 crore, translating into a tax of Rs 3,000 crore.
APAs are primarily aimed at avoiding transfer pricing disputes arising from cross-border transactions undertaken by MNCs. The rate of completing the pacts, however, slowed down in FY18 compared to a year ago.
While the CBDT signed 88 APAs in FY17, the number came down to 67 in FY18. The report that one of the reasons for the dip was the increasing complexity of cases, which required more time for analysing the relevant international transactions.

SEBI to review FPI ownership norms.
SEBI would review its decision to impose a ban on non-resident Indians (NRIs) and persons of Indian origin (PIOs) from holding beneficial ownership (BO) in foreign portfolio investment (FPI) vehicles. The market regulator had imposed the ban in April, causing FPIs much heartburn.
Following concerns raised by FPIs, SEBI had set up a working group under the chairmanship of HR Khan, former Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. The working committee has heard various stakeholders.
The Ministry of Finance has also been consulted on various issues. Based on these inputs, SEBI will review the matter and shortly take a holistic view.
This comes a day after SEBI was “preposterous and highly irresponsible” to claim that $75 billion of FPIs would exit the country because of the circular issued in April.

September 6

With $400 million from Temasek, NIIF makes 2nd closure of Master Fund.
National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) has announced the second closure for its Master Fund with Singapore’s sovereign fund Temasek committing up to $400 million.
NIIF, Temasek will also become a shareholder of National Investment and Infrastructure Ltd, its investment management company, but did not disclose the size of the shareholding.
NIIF, with a proposed corpus of Rs. 40,000 crore out of which the Centre will contribute 49 per cent - was created in 2015 as an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF), under SEBI regulations.
Its current shareholders, apart from the Government of India, are Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), HDFC Group, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance and Axis Bank. It achieved the $1-billion first closure for its Master Fund with ADIA in October 2016.

SEBI sends officials overseas to study cryptocurrencies, initial coin offering.
Markets regulator SEBI has sent its officials to foreign countries to study initial coin offerings and cryptocurrencies, a move that will help in understanding of the systems and mechanisms.
Cryptocurrencies are digital units in which encryption techniques are used for trading and these ‘currencies’ operate independently of a central bank, while initial coin offerings are equivalents of initial public offerings in stock markets.
The regulator has organised study tours to Japan’s Financial Services Agency, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. The study tours help engage with the international regulators and gain deeper understanding of the systems and mechanisms.
Besides, SEBI hosted a number of international organisations including regulatory bodies and business and ministerial delegations in the past fiscal.

September 7

BEL’s order book crosses Rs 50,000 crore.
Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited’s (BEL) order book for the first time has crossed beyond Rs 50,000 crore after bagging a Rs 9,200 crore order for supply of seven Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) systems.
The company is looking at maintaining a healthy order inflow with business segments such as Radars & Weapon Systems, Electronic Warfare Systems, Fire Control Systems, Communication Systems and C4I Systems driving its growth in the coming days.
BEL has entered into contracts worth about Rs 9,200 crore with Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) to supply LRSAM systems to be fitted onboard seven ships. This is the highest-ever single value order bagged by BEL. Anandi Ramalingam, Director-Marketing, BEL, signed the contracts on behalf of BEL with MDL and GRSE.
As the lead integrator of Akash Missile system, BEL has already proven its prowess in the realm of Turnkey Missile Systems. The Company is now geared up for futuristic programmes such as the Quick Response Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) for the Army, Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) for the Indian Air Force and Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LRSAM) for the Indian Navy.

Cyient JV bags order from Indian Army for unmanned aerial vehicles.
Cyient Solutions and Systems Private Limited(CSS), a joint venture between Hyderabad-based Cyient Limited and Israel's BlueBird Aero Systems announced that it has received its first supply order from a unit of the Indian Army for SpyLite mini unmanned aerial vehicle(UAV) for high-altitude aerial surveillance.
SpyLite is an advanced, combat-proven, electric mini UAV system. It is optimised to offer covert and extended range real-time visual intelligence. Fully autonomous, from launch to accurate parachute recovery, the system delivers enhanced reliability even in severe weather conditions, assuring long endurance, high operational availability.
Commenting on the development, When looking for the perfect UAV solution, experienced end-users such as the Indian Army opt for a winning combination of field-proven UAV system with high performance, diverse capabilities, high reliability, low life-cycle cost, and ease of use. That's what the SpyLite offers.

September 8

HRD agrees to end PISA boycott, India to participate in 2021.
Temasek Holdings, the Singapore based global investment firm, has agreed to invest up to $400 million or Rs 27.5 billion in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund’s (NIIF) Master Fund.
The NIIF is essentially a fund manager that is registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) as an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF). And unlike banks and other financial institutions that provide loans for infrastructure projects, the NIIF is a pure equity investor in companies and projects.
The Government-backed investment company hopes to raise Rs 400 billion across its three funds in the near term namely, the Master Fund, Fund of Funds and Strategic Investment Fund.
The Government’s shareholding in the Master Fund stands at 49 per cent, while the other investors hold 51 per cent. In 2015, the Government allocated Rs 200 billion towards the NIIF in its budget announcement and NIIF raised a matching sum from domestic and international investors.

NIIF inks $400 million agreement with Singapore's Temasek.
Singapore government’s Temasek Holdings has agreed to invest $400 million in the National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) in another bet on India’s infrastructure asset management space.
NIIF, touted as India’s first sovereign investment vehicle anchored by the government, already has investors such as Abu Dhabi Investment Authority along with several large domestic financial institutions.
With the entry of Temasek, NIIF’s Master Fund is now one of the largest infrastructure funds in India, after IDFC Alternatives and ICICI Infrastructure Fund. NIIF manages close to $3.4 billion across three investment vehicles.
This completes second close of NIIF. NIIF is fast evolving into a major investment vehicle for building infrastructure assets.

September 9

WTO: US rejects India’s request to join Russia in dispute against duties on steel, aluminium.
Signalling its unwillingness to be flexible on its decision to impose penal import duties on aluminium and steel from countries such as India, Russia and China, the US has rejected New Delhi’s request to be an interested party in the dispute filed by Russia against Washington’s move at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Issues of national security are political matters not susceptible to review or capable of resolution by WTO dispute settlement.
While the US has the authority to reject a member’s request to join consultations that another country has requested to hold with it on a matter of dispute, it will not have a say if the issue takes the form of a full-fledged dispute and a dispute settlement panel is established.
If Russia asks for the establishment of a dispute settlement panel to resolve the dispute and India reserves its third-party rights, the US will not have the right to stall it.

India: No deal to choose US oil over Iran’s; price alone will decide.
India is clear that commercial considerations will drive its crude oil imports from the US and that oil bought from Washington should not be seen as replacing Iranian petroleum.
Scaling up oil imports from the US was discussed at the 2+2 dialogue between the two countries as part of measures to correct the trade deficit. But clear that these are commercial decisions - dependent on how competitively oil is priced and on the requirements of our refineries.
The US is working on improving the infrastructure for exporting oil and gas, once done the scope of scaling up imports will be higher.
India’s crude import needs will rise, with increasing refining capacity and fast-growing domestic consumption. The US crude is an additional option for Indian refiners.
Indian refiners such as Indian Oil Corporation are already buying US oil. From April 2017 to February 2018, 2.1 million tonnes were bought.

September 10

India’s share in Asia-Pacific GDP rises to 17.3% in 2017 as per ADB.
India’s share in the GDP of Asia and Pacific region has increased to 17.3 per cent in 2017 from 14.6 per cent in 2000.
As per the ADB’s report on ‘Key indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2018’, the Asia and Pacific region accounts for more than two-fifths of the share of global GDP in PPP (purchasing power parity) terms.
Asia and the Pacific region’s growing share of global output, which increased from 30.1 per cent to 42.6 per cent, came at the expense of the global shares of North America, Europe, South America, and the rest of the world, which declined by 6.8, 4.7, 1.3, and 0.3 percentage points, respectively.
Japan was third, with a 10.2 per cent share in 2017, down from 23.1 per cent in 2000. The combined population of Asia and the Pacific reached 4.14 billion in 2017, or 54.8 per cent of the world’s total population, down from 56 per cent in 2000.

India is the brightest spot for steel sector till 2019: Moody’s.
India will be the brightest spot for the steel sector over the next 12-18 months. India’s steel consumption is rising at least 5.5 per cent to 6 per cent every year, tracking strong GDP growth of 7.3 per cent to 7.5 per cent.
With minimal new steel capacity expected to be commissioned until 2021 in India, India's steel sector consolidation will drive improvement in the industry’s capacity utilisation levels and mute the pressure on profitability.
Tata Steel's acquisition of Bhushan Steel Ltd will underpin the increase in Tata’s steel shipments by over a third. expect a mid-single-digit increase in EBITDA per tonne for Tata Steel's Indian operations over the next 12 months. Moreover, Tata Steel’s backward integration in iron ore and coking coal augurs well in times of rising input prices.

Centre pegs CAD for FY19 at 2.5% of GDP.
The government estimates the Current Account Deficit (CAD) to be 2.5 per cent of GDP in the current fiscal.
The government forecast comes at a time when the rupee lost over 13 per cent since the beginning of 2018, of which 7 per cent was during June-September. There has been a spike in the prices of Indian crude oil basket and prices of petroleum products globally. This coupled with a weak rupee widened the deficit.
CAD implies shrinking value of a country’s net foreign assets, which means less earnings and more payments in foreign currency. It is expressed as a percentage of GDP. It is not entirely in the hands of the government or monetary authority and depends upon the geo-political situation and the price of crude oil.
The deficit was 1.9 per cent in 2017-18 and 0.6 per cent in 2016-17. The Reserve Bank of India released data showing the deficit declined marginally to 2.4 per cent in the April-June quarter against 2.5 per cent in the year-ago period. The deficit was higher at $15.8 billion during the quarter ($15 billion) mainly due to a higher trade deficit.

September 11

Centre permits two Iranian insurers to offer $1 billion cover for tanker shipments till 2020.
Iran’s Kish P&I Club and Qeshm International Trust Alliance (QITA P&I Club) have been granted permission by India till February 2020 to provide cover to Iran tankers bringing crude to the country with a liability limit equivalent to the one extended by a London-based global insurance group.
Kish P&I Club and QITA P&I Club - backed by a sovereign guarantee from the government of Iran - will provide $1 billion limit on individual claims.
India approved the two Iranian ship underwriters to provide insurance for container, tanker and bulk vessels calling at Indian ports. Such approvals were initially given on a quarterly basis which was later granted for a six-month period and subsequently for a year. The latest extension will run through February 20, 2020.
India has made it mandatory for foreign ships entering the country’s ports to hold a valid third-party liability cover against maritime claims such as oil pollution, wreck removal and damage to port property.

Higher fuel prices may give States a Rs. 22,700 crore windfall.
State governments will likely reap a windfall gain of around Rs. 22,700 crore this fiscal from the increase in the prices of petrol and diesel, a report by the State Bank of India’s Economic Research Wing has claimed.
Fuel is under a dual taxation regime. The Centre levies excise duty at specific rates Rs. 19.48 for petrol and Rs. 15.33 for diesel. The States impose sales tax or VAT ad valorem. Some States also collect a cess.
In Maharashtra, the price of petrol has crossed ₹89/litre, the highest in the country. Alternatively, a $1/barrel increase in oil prices translates on an average of ₹1,513 crore revenue gain to all the major 19 States.
The crude oil price will be $75/ barrel on an average and the exchange rate will be Rs. 72 to a dollar. Similarly, for the last fiscal, the study considered the yearly average crude oil price to be $57 a barrel, and an average exchange rate of ₹65 a dollar. Along with this, the State-wise VAT rate, dealer commission, Central excise duty and transport cost are assumed to be the same in FY19 as they were in FY18.

September 12

Apollo Global buys JP Morgan’s India realty platform
Apollo Global Management, one of the largest alternative asset managers, has acquired global financial services major JP Morgan’s real estate fund management platform in India.
The platform comprises two funds of vintage 2007 and 2014 with aggregate assets under management of about $300 million. These funds have 14 investments across six cities and 10 joint venture partners.
A few of JP Morgan’s members handling real estate fund management platform in India would be integrated into Apollo Global’s on-ground team. The newly created joint platform will be led by Nipun Sahni, who currently heads Apollo Global’s India real estate business.
The deal has fructified given the pedigree of Apollo Global that has assets under management worth $269 billion and ranks among the world’s largest alternate asset manager Apollo has past experience of managing the $1.4-billion Citi property portfolio in Asia, including India, and has exited over $1.2 billion of its portfolio.

BSNL, Unlimited ink partnership for IoT/M2M services in India.
Unlimit, end-to-end IoT service provider in India announced its partnership with State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to offer comprehensive Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and services to the enterprise customers across India.
The partnership between Unlimited and BSNL will leverage seamless wireless network footprint pan India to provide its solutions and services across industries.
The solutions and services include managed connectivity, application enabling platform and device management, and advance analytics to customers across industries. BSNL will cement its foothold in India's IoT market and digitally transform the customers' business models.
Company that has a track record of providing comprehensive and customized IoT solutions to enterprises across the country. By combining our pan India coverage, last mile network access, and bandwidth with Unlimited range of services.

September 13

BEML launches India's first 205T Electric Drive Rear Dump Truck.
BEML has launched an indigenously designed & developed nation's first 205T Electric Drive Rear Dump Truck (Model BHQOS-E).
This will address the growing demand for higher capacity equipments in the Mining Industry.
BH205E is an electric drive rear dump truck for large scale mining operations. Indigenously designed and developed BHZOSE Dump Truck is powered by Tier II emission compliant Modular Common Rail Electronic Engine with 2300 HP. The AC drive system has been engineered to provide exceptional haul road performance with reduced maintenance.

Govt determined to contain fiscal deficit at 3.3 percent.
The government is determined to keep fiscal deficit within the budgeted level of 3.3 percent of GDP as the country cannot afford to have a twin deficit problem. It dependence on oil as a source of tax revenue has to be brought down and this can only happen when the share of non-oil tax to GDP goes up.
India will maintain the fiscal deficit target as a consumption driven economy and tax revenues are also increasing. The government has targeted 3.3 per cent fiscal deficit for the current financial year ending March 2019.
The government's finances have shown improvement in July with fiscal deficit at 86.5 per cent of the Budget Estimate (BE), mainly on account of higher revenue collection, as per official data. The deficit was at 92.4 per cent of BE at the last financial year.
The current account deficit (CAD), which is the difference between inflow and outflow of foreign exchange, rose to USD 18 billion or 2.4 per cent of GDP in April-June quarter on account widening trade deficit.

Pawan Hans stake sale: Govt extends deadline for initial bids.
The government has extended the deadline to submitting initial bids for 51 per cent stake sale in helicopter services provider Pawan Hans. The previous deadline for expression of interest (EoI).
Along with government’s 51 per cent stake, the bidders would have the option to buy ONGC’s 49 per cent shareholding in the company.
The government issued the information memorandum for the 51 per cent stake sale in Pawan Hans and had sought EoI from interested bidders by June 18. About half a dozen bidders are believed to have submitted bids.
Later, fresh bids were invited after ONGC board in July decided to combine its 49 per cent stake in the offer for sale by the government.

September 14

225 million e-way bills generated across India since GST roll out.
Around 225 million e-way bills have been generated across India till September 13 since the new electronic billing system was introduced on April 1. It added that July 31 accounted for the highest 2.177 million e-way bills generated in a single day.
The e-way bill system kicked off as part of the new GST regime for transporting goods worth more than Rs 50,000.
Between April 1 and September 13, a total of 224.8 million e-way bills have been generated. Of these, inter-state transport of goods accounted for 108.9 million bills while intra-state transport contributed another 115.8 million.
The share of intra- and inter-state transport is gradually attaining parity and is expected to reach 50:50 ratio in coming months. The GSTN added that over 2.4 million taxpayers and 30,000 transporters had registered with the e-way billing system so far.

Cisco signs agreements with NITI, BSNL.
Cisco, a U.S.-based firm, that makes networking telecommunications equipment, has signed two agreements with the NITI Aayog and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to speed up its Country Digital Acceleration programme in India.
Cisco has made over 25 strategic investments in growth stage companies in India. To further support the start-up ecosystem in India, Cisco signed an agreement with NITI Aayog to boost connectivity and collaboration across all 100 Atal Incubation Centers in the country. These solutions converge voice, chat, video meetings, group messaging, file sharing, and white boarding securely, all in one platform.
Cisco Webex Teams and Cisco Sparkboard will facilitate information exchange and collaboration among all Atal Incubation Centres in India and Cisco’s other incubation and innovation centers across the world enabling entrepreneurs to build businesses, innovate and go global with digital solutions.
Cisco signed an agreement with BSNL to set up a dedicated location to demonstrate use cases using 5G to solve citizen problems in areas such as education, healthcare and agriculture using technologies such as IoT, surveillance, and Artificial Intelligence.

September 15

Infosys to acquire Fluido for up to Rs 545 crore.
India's second largest IT services firm Infosys it will acquire Finland-based Fluido in a deal worth up to 65 million Euros (over Rs 545 crore). Up to 65 million Euros including earn-out, management incentives and bonuses - is expected to close during the third quarter of fiscal 2019, subject to customary closing conditions.
Founded in 2010, Fluido has offices in Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Slovakia. Its customers span industries like manufacturing, energy, retail and telecommunications.
This acquisition demonstrates Infosys' commitment to the sales force ecosystem to address our client's digital priorities. Fluido will be an important addition to the Infosys family, bringing a unique combination of market presence, deep sales force expertise, agile delivery and training.
In a separate filing, the Bengaluru-based company Board will meet on October 15 and 16 to consider the financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2018.

Aditya Birla Finance to enter into healthcare financing.
Aditya Birla Finance (ABFL), among the nation’s top five private diversified NBFCs, plans to enter the healthcare financing space.
The AAA-rated NBFC, which is wholly-owned by Aditya Birla Capital Ltd, will also look to take lifestyle financing, which it has forayed into through its own digital lending platform to the next level. It will, in future, cover higher-end consumer durables, smartphones and holidays.
On healthcare financing, ABFL will look at funding doctors, clinics, diagnostic equipment. It will be purely an SME play and not looking at big hospitals or financing patients. This healthcare financing space from a provider’s side early next year.
In a span four years, from FY14 to FY18, ABFL’s loan book grew four times to Rs. 43,242 crore from Rs. 11,735 crore. Similarly, the profits before tax have seen a four-fold jump to Rs. 1,109 crore.

September 16

Forex reserves shrink by $819 million to stand at $399.3 billion.
India’s foreign exchange reserves declined by $819.5 million to stand at $399.3 billion ended September 7, going a shade below the $400 billion mark for the first time in over a year.
This dip in reserves comes in the wake of the rupee depreciating by 74 paise during the week to close at 71.74 to the dollar as on September 7 in the backdrop of an escalating tariff war between the US and China, rising global crude oil prices and concerns on India’s widening current account deficit (CAD).
Since March-end 2018, India’s forex reserves have dwindled by $25.3 billion. The decline in reserves last week was mainly on account of the foreign currency assets (FCA) component coming down by $887.4 million.
The gold component of the reserves was up $71.9 million, indicating that at a time when the global financial markets have become volatile, the RBI is accumulating gold. The other two components of the reserves dipped marginally - special drawing right (down $1.5 million) and reserve position in IMF ($2.5 million).

Govt plans stake sale in 4 Air India subsidiaries.
The Government plans to soon initiate the strategic sale process for at least four subsidiaries of loss-making Air India, including Airline Allied Services Ltd and Hotel Corporation of India.
Plans are also on the anvil for selling the headquarters building of Air India in the national capital as well as various other land assets and buildings of the airline in different parts of the country.
In June, a ministerial panel chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had deferred the strategic sale of the government’s 76 per cent stake in Air India. Air India, which has been in the red for long, had a debt burden of Rs 48,000 crore at the end of March 2017.
The government expects to raise Rs 80,000 crore from strategic as well as minority stake sale in public sector enterprises. So far this fiscal, the government has raised over Rs 9,220 crore by divesting its stake in state-owned companies.

September 17

Ola ties up with Chennai International Airport for designated zones, kiosks.
Ola, a leading ridesharing company, has entered into an alliance with the Chennai International Airport for designated Ola zones and kiosks. Passengers at Chennai airport will be able to book cabs at Ola kiosks outside the domestic and the international arrival terminals.
This partnership comes under Ola’s alliance with Airport Authority of India to expand its services to the Kolkata, Pune and Lucknow airports, in addition to the Chennai International Airport.
At Chennai airport, Ola zones have been set up, providing dedicated parking lots to the cabs. The kiosks will enable passengers to access cabs even without smart phones and Ola app.
The passengers could use the services of other cab aggregators or taxies. There will not be any signboards other than Ola’s inside the airport premises.

CNG, PNG set to get costlier from next month as 12-14% increase in domestic natural gas price expected.
The price of CNG and PNG are set to rise from next month as the government will revise the prices of domestic natural gas for the October 2018-March 2019 period as per the New Domestic Gas policy. Care Ratings has calculated that the rise in prices could by 12-14% from the current $3.06/mmBtu to $3.43/mmBtu.
The rise in prices of natural gas will result in costlier CNG, PNG, manufacturing of urea and petrochemicals where natural gas is used as a feedstock.
Overall, there will be an impact on inflation as well. The rise in the domestic natural gas price will result in increasing the WPI marginally as crude petroleum and natural gas has a 2.46% weight and in that natural gas has a 0.46% weight.
The natural gas price was hiked to $3.06 per mmBtu from $2.89 per mmBtu for the April-September period. It was the second hike in nearly three years. This time the government is also likely to cap price based on alternative fuels for undeveloped gas finds in difficult areas like deep-sea, which are unviable to develop as per the existing pricing formula.

Reliance ARC to double total AUM to Rs. 4,000 crore in three years.
Reliance Asset Reconstruction Company, a part of Reliance Capital, intends to double its total Assets Under Management (AUM) to Rs. 4,000 crore within the next three years. The Anil Ambani company is also close to acquiring a stressed credit card portfolio in the next couple of months.
On the proposed takeover in the credit card segment, This is in line with the retail strategy and expecting to add one or two of this asset class of about Rs. 20-25 crore.
Reliance ARC, now a 10-year-old company, will also raise about Rs. 60-75 crore of debentures in tranches over the next 4-5 months. This would be long-tenor monies that would be used to acquire retail portfolios.
Reliance Capital owns 49 per cent stake in Reliance ARC. The remaining 51 per cent stake is held by Corporation Bank and Indian Bank (23 per cent amongst themselves); billionaire George Soros’ through his company Dacecroft, and New York-based Blue Ridge (9.5 per cent each); while GIC of India owns the remaining 9 per cent.

September 18

Def Min approves procurement of military equipment worth Rs 9,100 crore.
The Defence Ministry approval for procurement of military equipment and weapons, including two regiments of Aakash missile systems, at a cost of Rs 9,100 crore.
The acquisition proposals were approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the ministry's highest decision making body on procurement. The DAC also approved the design and development of test equipment for guided weapons systems for T90 tanks.
The Aakash missiles will be supplied by state-run Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL). It will be an upgraded version of the previously inducted Aakash missiles and also accorded approval for progressing design and development of 'Individual Under Water Breathing Apparatus (IUWBA)' for T 90 Tanks.
The IUWBA is used by the crew of tanks as a safety gear and is required by the tank crew for emergency escape when negotiating water obstacles.

CCI slaps Rs. 38 crore penalty on 18 sugar mills and two trade bodies for rigging bids for ethanol blending.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a Rs. 38 crore penalty on 18 sugar mills and two trade associations, ISMA and EMAI, for rigging bids in joint tenders floated by public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs).
The case pertains to the notification issued by the Petroleum Ministry in 2013 mandating 5 per cent blending of ethanol with motor spirit or gasoline. Per the notification, the OMCs Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and Bharat Petroleum Corporation had invited quotations from alcohol manufacturers for supply of ethanol through a joint tender.
The tender was issued by BPCL on behalf of the OMCs as the coordinator of the tender process. The OMCs invited sealed tenders under the two bid system - technical bid and price bid - from ethanol suppliers.
India Glycols Limited, alleged that the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) and Ethanol Manufacturers Association of India (EMAI) persuaded the OMCs to come out with a Joint Tender for the purpose of procuring ethanol. The joint tendering was alleged to be an agreement among players to procure ethanol from various suppliers in contravention of the provisions of Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2002.

Lowering inflation is a major structural reform in India: IMF official.
One major structural reform the Indian economy has witnessed over the last few years is lower inflation. For an economy where “higher than optimum level” inflation rates were a norm, current numbers tend to be closer to the Reserve Bank of India’s estimates.
Retail inflation hit a 10-month low in August at 3.69 per cent, compared to 4.17 per cent in July. The RBI’s medium-term target for consumer price index is 4 per cent within a band of +/- 2 per cent.
Pointing out that fundamentals of the Indian economy were strong, the current account deficit (CAD) was widening partly because of oil imports. The deficits “still at a moderate level”.
India’s CAD stood at 2.4 per cent of GDP in the April-June quarter.

September 19

India signs $74 million loan pact with World Bank for Uttarakhand
India has signed a financing loan agreement with the World Bank for USD 74 million for Uttarakhand Workforce Development Project (UKWDP).
The project objective is to improve the quality and relevance of training at priority Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and to increase the number of labour-market-relevant workers through short-term training in Uttrakhand.
The project has three components - improving the quality and relevance of ITI training; increasing the number of skilled workers certified under National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQE); and policy and institutional development and project management.
The project has a 5-year grace period, and a maturity of 17 years

BSE, NSE get Sebi approval to launch commodity derivatives 
Leading stock exchanges BSE and NSE have got approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to launch trading in commodity derivatives segment from October 1. 
BSE provides investor with an end to end, integrated transaction processing, with services ranging across the spectrum- from pre trade order management to trading, real time risk management to post trade clearing, and settlement through a central counter party mechanism along with a nationwide depository for facilitating the securities, transaction in a dematerialized form. 

September 20

Small savings rates hiked: PPF and NSC to give 8%, senior citizens to get 8.7%
The government hiked interest rates on small savings schemes, including National Savings Certificate (NSC) and Public Provident Fund (PPF),by up to 0.4 per cent for the October-December quarter, in line with rising deposit rates in the banks. Interest rates for small savings schemes are notified on a quarterly basis.
Interest rate for the five-year term deposit, recurring deposit Senior Citizens Savings Scheme has been raised to 7.8, 7.3 and 8.7 per cent, respectively. The interest on the senior citizens' scheme is paid quarterly.
Interest on savings deposits has been retained at 4 per cent, annually.
Public Provident Fund (PPF) and National Savings Certificate (NSC) will fetch annual interest rate of 8 per cent as compared to existing 7.6 per cent, while Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) will yield 7.7 per cent and mature in 112 months as against 118 months in the previous quarter.
The girl child savings scheme Sukanya Samriddhi account will earn higher interest rate of 8.5 per cent rate, 0.4 per cent more than the current rate.

Vodafone Idea Board approves merger of Aditya Birla Telecom
British telecom giant Vodafone’s India subsidiary and the Aditya Birla Group company Idea Cellular last month merged to form the country’s largest telecom operator, Vodafone Idea Ltd. The merger between the giants was catalyzed by the onslaught of tariff war launched by Reliance Jio Info which has already garnered over 20% revenue market share in just two years of launching its services.
As per an agreement between Indus shareholders, VIL can raise Rs 5,100 crore in cash from the sale of Idea Cellular’s 11.15% stake in the telecom tower company, which is a three-way venture between Idea, Vodafone and Bharti Airtel. Idea owns its stake in Indus through ABTL.

Alibaba backs data localisation in India; looks to grow its cloud presence
Chinese tech giant Alibaba, an investor in Paytm among other companies in India, has also backed the Indian company on the issue of data localisation, stating that it supports the move by India.
Alibaba Cloud is also looking to grow its presence in India after having launched its first data centre in the country.
Alibaba Cloud is also looking to grow its presence in India after having launched its first data centre in the country.

September 21

World Bank endorses framework to aid India’s transition to high-middle income nation
The World Bank has endorsed an ambitious five-year framework for India under which it is expected to receive USD 25-30 billion in financial support for its transition from a low-middle income to a high-middle income country.
The Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for India is aimed at supporting the country’s transition to a higher middle-income country by addressing some of its key development priorities - resource efficient and inclusive growth, job creation and building its human capital.
It is expected to bring between USD 25-30 billion in financial support for India from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).

NDB approves $525 million infra loan to Madhya Pradesh
The New Development Bank (NDB) of BRICS countries have approved a $525 million loan to Madhya Pradesh for infrastructure projects. The bank’s board approved a $350 million loan for the Major District Roads Project II of Madhya Pradesh and $175 million for building and upgrading 350 bridges.

September 22

IRDAI hikes insurance cover for owner - driver to Rs. 15 lakh
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) has raised the minimum insurance cover for owner - driver to Rs. 15 lakh for a premium of Rs. 750 per annum. Currently, the capital sum insured (CSI) under this section for motorized two-wheelers and private cars/ commercial vehicles is Rs. 1 lakh and Rs. 2 lakh, respectively.

September 23

Fitch ups India's growth forecast to 7.8% for FY19
Fitch Ratings upped India's growth forecast for the current fiscal to 7.8 per cent, from 7.4 per cent earlier, but flagged rising oil bill and higher interest rates as key concerns.
Fitch, in its Global Economic Outlook, it expects inflation to rise to the upper end of the central bank's target band (4 per cent, plus-minus 2 per cent) on relatively high demand-pull pressures and rupee depreciation.

September 24

BSNL inks deal with Softbank, NTT to roll out 5G, IoT service
State-run telecom firm BSNL has inked a pact with Japan's Softbank and NTT Communications to roll out 5G and internet of things technology in India.
We have signed agreement with Softbank and NTT Communications to roll out 5G and IoT products and services in India. Under the agreement, we will look at solution especially for the smart cities.

Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka account for 40% of retail loans: Report
Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka together accounted for 40 per cent of the total retail loans in the country as on June 30, despite representing just 20 per cent of the population.
The growth in retail advances were driven by economic development and urbanisation.
At the midpoint of 2018, three of the large Indian states Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka comprised nearly 40 per cent of all retail lending balances despite representing about 32 per cent of the overall credit population share and around 20 per cent of the aggregate Indian population.
As of June, retail balances in Maharashtra were the highest at Rs 5,50,200 crore, representing nearly 20 per cent of all the retail advances in the country.
It was followed by Tamil Nadu at Rs 2,77,400 crore and Karnataka at Rs 2,74,900 crore.

India - South Asia trade has potential to triple to $62 billion, says World Bank
Deeper regional trade and connectivity has the potential to more than triple India’s trade with its South Asian neighbors.
In a report titled ‘A Glass Half Full: The Promise of Regional Trade in South Asia’, the bank estimates India’s potential trade in goods with South Asia at $62 billion against its actual trade of $19 billion, which is a mere 3% of its global trade and about $43 billion below its potential.
Deeper regional trade and connectivity can reduce the isolation of Northeast India, give Indian firms better access to markets in South Asia and East Asia, and allow it to substitute fossil fuels by cleaner hydropower from Nepal and Bhutan.
Citing gains for Indian consumers will also gain from availability of greater variety of consumer goods at cheaper prices. The trade between India and Pakistan is $2 billion but without trade barriers, this could be $37 billion.

India to be $100 billion FDI destination by 2022: PHD Chamber
India is approaching towards USD 100 billion FDI inflow per annum by 2022 as volumes of foreign direct investment are increasing year after year.
The annual FDI inflows in the country increased from USD 36 billion in 2013-14 to USD 62 billion in 2017-18.
Make in India has been instrumental during the last four years to attract FDI reforms in the country. Despite the global challenges, the country was able to attract tremendous flow of investments.

September 25

ADB retains India growth forecast for FY18 at 7.3%
India is expected to grow at a healthy 7.3% in fiscal year 2018, helped by improved domestic demand and a steady revival in industrial growth.
The ADB kept its growth forecasts unchanged at 7.3% for 2018 and 7.6% for 2019 as the temporary effects of the demonetization of large bank notes and the introduction of GST abate as expected.
India’s economy grew 8.2% in the first quarter of the current financial year. Private consumption grew 8.6% in the quarter, with rural demand recovering as the effects of demonetization waned and incomes increased.

DAC clears procurement of engines worth Rs 2300 crore for T-72 tanks
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved procurement of 1,000 engines for fitment in T-72 tanks of the Army at an approximate cost of over Rs 2,300 crore.
The DAC also approved several amendments to Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP)-16, the manual governing such procurement.
The significant changes include limiting the time period for executing repeat order to five years after the date of completion of warranty of final delivery in the previous contract.
Repeat order provisions have also been extended to procurement by other services such as the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO).

September 26

ADB approves $500 million for Tamil Nadu water supply, sewerage, drainage infra
The board of directors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved financing of up to $500 million for a multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) that will develop climate-resilient water supply, sewerage, and drainage infrastructure in at least 10 cities in Tamil Nadu. The country's first solar-powered sewage treatment plant on a pilot basis will also be part of the programme.
With almost half of the state population living in cities, Tamil Nadu is the most urbanized of India's large states.
He added that managing this rapid urbanization is essential for sustaining its economic growth and alleviating poverty. The state suffers from recurring droughts and erratic monsoons linked to climate change, resulting in severe water scarcity and urban flooding.

Govt increases customs duty on 19 items to curb imports; air travel, household items to cost more
The Central Government announced new tariff measures by increasing the basic customs duty of 19 items to curb import of certain products. These changes are aimed at narrowing the Current Account Deficit (CAD). The total value of imports of these items in the year 2017-18 was about Rs 86,000 Crore.
The changes in basic import duty, which have been hiked in some cases by 50%, will make air travel, buying consumer items such as air-conditioners, household refrigerators, washing machines, footwears, and jewellery expensive.
In all, the basic customs duty has been increased on 19 items. The basic customs duty for Aviation turbine fuel has been fixed at 5% now which till now was zero while for ACs, household refrigerators, washing machines (less than 10 Kg) it has been enhanced from 10% to 20%. For Compressor for ACs and refrigerators the basic customs duty has been increased from 7.5% to 10%. In case of speakers and radial car tyres, the duty is up from 10% to 15% and for footwears it has been increased from 20% to 25%.

Indian Navy signs contract with Hindustan Shipyard Ltd for construction of 2 Diving Support Vessels (DSV)
The Indian Navy signed a contract with Hindustan Shipyard Limited for construction of two Diving Support Vessels (DSV) to augment its submarine support operations.
The first vessel to be built over a 36 month period would be followed by the second, six months later.
The vessels, to be based at Vishakhapatnam and Mumbai respectively, would be 118 metres in length and have a displacement of approximately 7,650 tonnes.In addition to operating submarines to secure our waters; the Indian Navy undertakes diving operations in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
This necessitates extensive diving operations to facilitate various activities such as submarine rescue, underwater inspection, testing or salvage and recovery of objects/ship aircraft lost at sea.

UNCTAD expects India’s GDP to rise 7% in 2018, warns against digital MNCs’ anti-competitive practices
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) expects India’s economy to grow 7% in calendar year 2018 compared with 6.2% in 2017.
An expansion in services and higher demand for exports has led to a moderate recovery in industrial production in its Trade and Development Report.
India’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 8.2% in the April-June quarter propelled by a double-digit growth in manufacturing and better farm sector performance.
It also emphasised that countries like India and Thailand, which have been most favoured by foreign investors and experienced the largest spike in asset prices, would be most vulnerable to capital outflows. Further, countries like India which are dealing with current account deficits have a tendency of reducing imports.
This assumes significance in the wake of India putting in place measures to control the rising current account deficit and capital outflows.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the following.
The New Broad Gauge Electrified Line of 294.53 route Kms from Katghora to Dongargarh will provide rail connectivity to unserved areas of Chhattishgarh, opening them up for industrial development through movement of freight to the busy Jharsuguda-Nagpur section of Howrah Mumbai route by avoiding busy yards of Bilaspur, Champa and Durg stations.
The Korba, Bilaspur, Mungeli, Kabirdham and Rajnandgaon districts of Chhattisgarh will be benefitted by this new rail line.

September 27

ADB okays $150 million loan for Madhya Pradesh's first multi-skills park Setup
Multilateral lender ADB will provide USD 150 million loan for establishing the first multi-skills park in central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
The board of directors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a USD 150 million loan to establish the first multi-skills park in India.
The skills park is to be equipped with international training facilities to enhance the quality of Madhya Pradesh's technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system.
Madhya Pradesh has one of the largest working-age populations in India, with the labour force expected to expand from 48 million in 2016 to 56 million in 2026. However, not a lot of them have the necessary skills and training that can meet the employment needs of the state's emerging sectors.
ADB's assistance will help open up opportunities to the men and women of Madhya Pradesh to gain high-level skills that increase their employability and capacity to contribute to growth.
As per ADB, the skills gap in Madhya Pradesh is expected to increase in the next six years, with an incremental demand for skilled workers projected to hit 5.6 million in 2024.

Argentina gets biggest loan in IMF's history at $57 billion
Argentina has received the biggest loan package ever from the International Monetary Fund, aimed at shoring up the country’s ailing finances: a whopping $57.1 billion that will be disbursed over the next three years.
This is the biggest loan in the history of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, as the final loan agreement was announced in New York.
The loan – $15 billion of which has already been received by Argentina – comes with stringent conditions, including a commitment to a zero deficit for 2019.
Argentina had initially secured $50 billion in a deal worked out after the South American country was battered by a currency crisis, a run on the peso and double-digit inflation.

September 28

Government launches Rail heritage digitization project in collaboration with Google
The railway ministry in collaboration with Google has launched rail heritage digitization project. The project is a first of its kind to showcase country’s rail heritage to national and international audience in an online story-telling platform.
India Railways has a history of more than 165 years and has a rich heritage that includes the Imperial and the princely railways.
Digitization of rail heritage provides opportunity to contextualize artifact and other heritage assets with the stories thus becoming more meaningful to next generation. Digital heritage also removes bottleneck of being physically there and thus providing universal access to the large repository of knowledge.

RBI bars Bandhan Bank from opening new branches, freezes CEO's compensation
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) barred Bandhan Bank from opening new branches, and also ordered freezing of the bank's CEO salary over failure to stick to shareholding rules.
RBI has communicated to us that since the Bank was not able to bring down the shareholding of Non Operative Financial Holding Company (NOFHC) to 40 percent as required under the licensing condition, general permission to open new branches stands withdrawn and the Bank can open branches with prior approval of RBI and the remuneration of the MD & CEO of the Bank stands frozen at the existing level, till further notice.

India's external debt declines 2.8 per cent $514.4 billion at end-June: RBI
India's external debt declined 2.8 per cent to USD 514.4 billion at June-end over the previous quarter on account of a decrease in commercial borrowings, short-term debt and non-resident Indian (NRI) deposits.
At end-June 2018, the external debt was placed at USD 514.4 billion, recording a decrease of USD 14.9 billion over its level at end-March 2018.
As per the RBI, the decrease in the magnitude of external debt was primarily due to valuation gains resulting from the appreciation of the US dollar against the Indian rupee and major currencies.
The external debt to GDP ratio stood at 20.4 per cent at end-June 2018, a shade lower than its level of 20.5 per cent at end-March 2018.

September 29

Post-floods rebuilding: Kerala to reduce plan outlay by 20%
The Kerala government will cut its annual plan outlay for 2018-2019 by 20%. The gains will be used for post-flood reconstruction of the Navakerala (New Kerala) mission.
In the 2018-19 fiscal year, Kerala’s annual plan outlay was pegged at Rs 29,150 crore.
The trimming of the plan outlay will not affect the scholarships for students or youth, he told mediapersons, after a meeting of the state Cabinet.
Through loans from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), and other bilateral funding agencies and banks, the state government has decided to garner Rs 15,900 crore to rebuild certain crucial sectors.
A delegation from the World Bank and ADB has submitted a rapid damage assessment and need analysis (RDNA) report, after making a quick study of flood-damaged sectors, which puts the total damages at Rs 25,050 crore.

September 30

India’s story compelling evidence that openness in services contributes to growth, say WTO, WB, IMF in joint report
India’s economic reforms and growth story offer compelling evidence that openness in services contributes to long run growth performance. India’s reforms in the 1990s brought more openness, better regulation and greater investment, allowing Indian manufacturing firms to source services from a range of domestic and foreign providers operating in a more competitive environment.
The report - ‘Reinvigorating Trade and Inclusive Growth’ - was released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and World Trade Organization. Manufacturers’ access to better, more reliable, and more diverse business services enhanced firms’ ability to invest in new opportunities and technologies, to concentrate production in fewer locations, to efficiently manage inventories, and to coordinate decisions with suppliers and customers.
Referring to a 2016 study, procompetitive reforms in banking, insurance, telecommunications and transport boosted the productivity of both foreign and locally-owned manufacturing firms. Other empirical studies reinforce these findings, but also stress the importance of well-designed reforms accompanied by sound domestic regulation, asserting that India provides “compelling evidence that openness in services contributes to long run growth performance”.


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