Dec. 3 – After Ernst & Young ranked India as the most attractive investment destination in the world last week, strong quarterly growth figures indicate India’s economy is on track to expand by at least 5 percent in 2014.
In a press conference yesterday, Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram pointed to India’s decreasing account deficit, rupee stabilization, and rising exports as signs Asia’s third-largest economy is on the recovery path. Continue reading
Nov. 25 – After significant changes in FDI policy earlier this year, India was ranked by Ernst & Young as the most attractive investment destination in the world – surpassing both China and the United States.
Ernst & Young (EY), a leading global consulting firm, based the ranking upon a survey of 1600 senior executives from large companies across more than 70 countries.
Part of EY’s Capital Confidence Barometer report, the ranking aims to gauge corporate confidence in economic outlook and understand boardroom priorities by country. Continue reading
By Kavita Patel
Nov. 25 – India’s voracious appetite for gold may be an obstacle to its economic growth. The subcontinent is the world’s leading consumer of gold but has almost no domestic supply. As rising income boosts demand, gold imports jumped from about 471 tons in 2001 to around 1,017 tons in 2012. Demand is inelastic as this precious metal plays an integral role in Indian culture; almost half of all purchases are used during weddings. Unfortunately, gold is an unproductive store of wealth. It deepens the current account deficit and slows capital investment, weakening the economy.
Inflows of the yellow metal have weighed on the country. In the past, almost 40 percent of India’s gold imports were processed by its skilled and inexpensive labor for subsequent export. This number has decreased to just 29 percent, and gold imports helped push the current account deficit to the US$87.8 billion it reached last financial year, an unmanageable 4.8 percent of GDP. Continue reading
Nov. 20 – On Tuesday, India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh officially opened the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) at Mumbai’s Air India building. With seven branches initially, the BMB will accept deposits from, and loan money primarily to, women.
The first branches of BMB will be located in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Indore and Guwahati. In a strong display of its support, the Indian government has contributed US$184 million in start-up capital, and future plans include setting up branches throughout India and eventually overseas as well.
Usha Ananthasubramanian, chairperson of the bank, stated “…the bank will be predominantly for women in accepting deposits and giving loans. Our main objective will be to empower and educate women financially.” Continue reading
Nov. 11 – Kolkata is an old, historic city and much of its infrastructure reflects this reality. The city has India’s oldest operating and only major fresh water port. The city’s road systems were made for the many rickshaws that still ply their trade around town; now, the roads struggle to keep up with the ever-increasing number of cars. However, Kolkata is not afraid to try new things as reflected by it being the first city in India to build a metro system. In this highly energetic city, growth and modernization are the order of the day, and its infrastructure continues to expand.
Kolkata’s metro was the first underground metro system in India. The system runs for 16.45 kilometers north to south from Dum Dum (near the Kolkata Airport) to Tollygunj, which is also a key terminal point for buses.
Under construction currently is an east-west corridor stretching from Howrah Railway Station on the west bank of the Hugli River, underground and across the river, connecting with the north-south metro line, and continuing east to the Salt Lake City community. Continue reading
Nov. 6 – The Indian economy grew at a rate of 4.4 percent during the first quarter of the 2013-14 fiscal year, according to numbers released this week by the Ministry of Finance in their Quarterly Review 2013-14.
While real GDP growth below 5 percent is slow by Indian standards, the country’s economic output was still greater than other developed economies, such as the United States and Europe, from April to June of this year.
The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector saw the greatest growth among the economy’s constituent parts with growth of 2.7 percent in the first quarter compared to growth of 1.4 percent in Q4 of last fiscal year. Continue reading
Nov. 5 – Formerly known as Calcutta, Kolkata was built along the bank of the Hugli River in northeastern India, forming a long and rather narrow city. The city is strategically positioned with three international frontiers: Bangladesh in the east, Nepal in the west, and Bhutan in the northeast.
Though the city experienced a period of stagnation immediately after India’s independence in 1947, rising levels of education and state planning have brought Kolkata to the forefront once again. Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal, a province rich in natural resources with a thriving tea-production industry. Today, in this relatively small city of 4.4 million, high-rise residences in the former European quarter tower over colonial-era government buildings. Continue reading
A comparitive overview of India’s most vibrant cities
Oct. 29 – The capital of the world’s largest free-market democracy, Delhi, is a spicy fusion of the ancient and the modern, a harmonious blend of culture, cuisine, arts and architecture. Meanwhile, Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is the gateway to modern India – a vibrant, fast and pulsating city giving it a unique position among the multiethnic cities of the world.
For much of its history, Delhi was the political and financial center for various Muslim dynasties. In 1911, the British moved their capital to Delhi from Calcutta, and pulled down part of the old city to create New Delhi, an administrative quarter designed to house government offices. It continued to be the political capital of India after independence.
Mumbai, on the other hand, is an island city. The British decided to develop the natural harbor into a city, which has now grown by a series of land reclamations that link the original islands into a singular mass. With an estimated metropolitan area population of 20.5 million, Mumbai is now the largest city in India by population and fourth most populated city in the world. Maharashtra, the state in which Mumbai is situated, has a population of 96.8 million, thus making it the second largest state in India by population. Continue reading