Economy & Trade

India to Set Up US$10 bn Infrastructure Fund


Nov. 24 – In order to ensure that infrastructure projects in India are not stalled due to a lack of funds, the government has decided to set up a dedicated Rs. 50,000 crore (US$10 billion) infrastructure fund. The fund, according to the Economic Times is expected to be available for projects developed by both private and public-private joint ventures to build roads, airports, power plants or ports. Some of the infrastructure projects that are in the planning stage include 43 IT cities, developing roads in India's Northeast, and completing the US$90 billion industry corridor which will connect India's capital New Delhi with her commercial capital Mumbai.

India Will Not Fall Into Recession


Nov. 19 – Will India follow the United States, Japan and 15-nation Eurozone into a Recession? Government officials, economic and industry captains doubt it. While growth is expected to slow down in the subcontinet, the Indian government feels it has taken adequate measures to stimulate the economy offseting effects of the global economic slowdown.

Japan Dials Into India’s Telecom Market


Nov. 18 – Japanese telecom giant NTT DoCoMo acquired a 26 percent stake Tata Teleservices (TTSL) for about Rs 13,070 crore (US$2.7 billion) or an enterprise value of Rs 50,269 crore ($10.38 billion) last week. TTSL has 25 million subscribers spread across 20 telecom circles in India, commanding 9.3 percent marketshare and is the county's sixth largest telecom player. NTT DoCoMo also confirmed that the company will have the right to appoint three directors in the TTSL board.

The deal comes ahead of India's auction of 3G spectrum, a technology of which that DoCoMo has extensive experience.

India Hires While the Rest Fire



Nov. 17 – At a time when the rest of the world is firing employees, India is hiring. Within the last week companies across the country announced plans to hire atleast 40,000 people. According to the Economic Times, Private insurer MetLife India is looking to recruit about 2,000 sales managers and a whopping 30,000 financial advisors in the coming months. Global management consultancy firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu is also looking to hire 3,500 employees in the country aiming to take the firm's total headcount to 12,000 in the next three years. Meanwhile the largest lender in the country, the State Bank of India also announced plans of hiring 25,000 employees in the year to March, the Press Trust of India reported.

India’s Agenda for the G20 Summit


Nov. 14 – Speaking to reporters aboard the Prime Minsiters flight to Washington DC, a day prior to the commencement of the G20 summit, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, laid down India's three point agenda. Firstly increasing inclusivity in the international financial system, second, ensure that developing country growth prospects do not suffer and lastly, enforece the need to avoid protectionist tendencies.

In an interview with P. Chidambaram, N. Ram of the Hindu quizzes him further on India's increased voting rights at the IMF, global fund flows, the recently concluded Finance Ministers G20 meeting, India's increased public expenditure and the impact of the fincial crisis on the Indian economy.

India China Strategic Relationship Very Important – Obama to Singh



Nov. 13 – Exactly a week after U.S. President-elect Barack Obama was declared elected, he made his first official phone call to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, firmly brushing aside speculation that India had been snubbed by America.

Obama and Singh exchanged pleasentries while highlighting Indo-U.S. ties. Singh congratulated Obama on his victory and said it would inspire "oppressed people" all over the world. Obama in turn said that the U.S.-India strategic relationship was "very important". Singh later invited the President elect to make an early visit to India.

Plans to Increase FDI in Insurance Afoot


Nov. 12 – The Union cabinet has concented to increase the limit for FDI in India's insurance sector from 26 percent to 49 percent. The bill will be introduced in Parliment for approval sometime in the near future.

According to the Economic Times, Finance minister P. Chidambaram announced that the Union Cabinet, had decided to introduce a comprehensive amendment bill. “The Union Cabinet gave its approval for introduction of the Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2008, for amendment to Insurance Act 1938, General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972, and Insurance Regulatory and Development Act, 1999, in the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) on the basis of recommendations made by Group of Ministers,” Mr Chidambaram told the newspaper in early November. The bill is being introduced in the Rajya Sabha as it is not a money bill.

India’s Economy to Remain Stable at 7% in the Long Term


Nov. 11 – It might be that the international financial crisis has dented growth of the Indian economy, however the slump will be short lived. A CII and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study as well as S&P's long term ratings both point to stability and continued growth over the next few years.

Recently, International ratings agency Standard and Poor’s affirmed its ‘BBB-’ long-term and ‘A-3’ short-term sovereign credit ratings on India. According to the Hindu Business Line S&P said the ratings on India reflect the country’s strong economic growth prospects and its deep Government debt market, which helps accommodate its weak fiscal position.

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