Op/Ed Commentary: Chris Devonshire-Ellis
Dec. 31 – As we look back on 2009, the year in India ends with on an upbeat note. That is some relief after the tragedy of the Mumbai terror attacks at the end of last year, and a strong signal of the resilience of both the nation and its people. However, warnings over unresolved and long standing political issues remain.
India’s 2009 began with uncertainty, not just due to the global financial crisis, but also tensions over the nation’s national security in the wake of the apparent ease in which terrorists were able to penetrate many of Mumbai’s main focal points with nonchalance, arriving by sea near the Gateway to India, a central point in the city. India remained stoic in the face of such events just as the Indian economy remained relatively untouched by the events unfolding globally. Unlike China, with an exposure of about 40 percent of its total economy in providing global exports, India was less affected. Its domestic consumption ratio is more balanced, and a wealthy middle class – interestingly of about the same size of China’s at around 300 million people – continued to spend the country out of real danger. Continue reading
Dec. 29 – In an attempt to curb exports and feed growing domestic demand for iron ore, the Indian government has increased the export duty on iron ore by 5 percent.
According the Indian Finance Ministry, the government has raised export duty on iron ore lumps to 10 percent from 5 percent and on iron ore fines to 5 percent from zero.
India’s annual iron ore output exceeds 200 million metric tons and the country ranks fourth among the largest iron ore producers. In the 2008-09 Indian fiscal year, iron ore exports amounted to 105 million metric tons. Continue reading
Dec. 28 – In part of its ongoing effort to liberalize cross border trade and promote technology transfers, the Indian government in November eliminated prescribed threshold limits for royalty payments.
Previously, Indian companies were permitted to pay royalties under the automatic route without specific prior approval of the regulatory body if they qualified under the following conditions: Continue reading
Dec. 23 – Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said today that the Indian economy could grow by 7.5 to 8 percent during the current financial year.
“The Mid Year Review projected a growth rate of 7.75 percent, but it would be more appropriate to say 7.5 to 8 percent”, Mukherjee said, addressing the 104th annual session of the industry chamber PHDCCI.
The Review, tabled in Parliament by the minister last week, had said the growth rate during the year could exceed the optimistic projection of 7.75 percent, up from 6.7 percent recorded during 2008-09. Continue reading
Dec. 21 – The Indian Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Committee favors a single tax rate each for goods and services or one common rate for both under the proposed goods and services tax (GST), according to the committee’s chairman.
“The Centre could follow the pattern in which there is only one rate for goods and one rate for services, or one rate which is common to both goods and services,” PMEAC chairman C Rangarajan said. Continue reading
Dec. 18 – The government will offer Rs3.8 billion (US$81 million) in generation-based subsidies for wind power projects contributing power into the national grid until 2012.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said wind power projects will be paid 0.5 rupee (US$0.010) per unit of power fed into the power grid with a limit of Rs 6.2 million (US$132,234) per MW for at least 4 years and maximum 10 years. Projects of up to 4,000 MW will be qualified for the subsidies reports Press Trust of India.
Dec. 17 – Italian Minister for Economic Development said it would consider creating preferred shipping routes exclusively for Indian trade.
A collaboration agreement is in the works to link the ports of Venice with Mumbai and Genoa with Chennai with the aim of making Italy the gateway for Indian products bound for the European and Mediterranean market. Continue reading
Dec. 16 – India’s suggestion to build a network of climate innovation centers overseas to develop and share green technologies has been accepted and will be part of the basis of the Copenhagen agreement when the U.N. Climate Change Summit wraps up in two days.
The climate innovation centers will improve on local technology requirements and dissemination of current technologies. “The concept of network of climate energy innovation centers is very much part of the international agenda. I don’t know how it will get reflected finally,” Ramesh told The Press Trust of India. Continue reading