We Walk our Talk Compendium for the period 14th May 2018 – 19th May 2018

During the last week, PHD Research Bureau, the research arm of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry focussed on various issues and challenges pertaining to the economic and business environment in the country.  PHD Research Bureau disseminated information to members of PHD Chamber & other stakeholders on various issues such as April 2018 WPI inflation, April 2018 CPI inflation, Decisions taken by Union Cabinet, RBI notifies permissible activities under setting up of IFSC Banking Units (IBUs), WTO suggests strong global trade growth to continue but get soften in Q2-2018 etc., apart from information on lead macroeconomic and socio-economic indicators.

 

India and World Economy

·         April 2018 WPI inflation grows at 3.18% The WPI inflation grows at 3.18% in April 2018 as compared to 2.47% in March 2018, 2.74% in February 2018, 3.02% in January 2018, 3.58% in December 2017 and 4.02% in November 2017. The rise in WPI inflation in the month of April 2018 is attributed to rise in the prices of potato (67.94%), fruits (19.47%), petrol (9.45%) and HSD (13.01%).

·         April 2018 CPI inflation grows at 4.6%–The all India general CPI inflation (Combined) for April 2018(Prov.) grows at 4.58% as compared to 4.28% % in March 2018. The inflation rates for rural and urban areas for April 2018 (Prov.) are 4.7% and 4.4% respectively, as compared to 4.4% and 4.1% respectively, for March 2018. Rate of inflation during April 2018 (Prov.) for fruits (9.65%), housing (8.5%), pan, tobacco and intoxicants (7.91%), vegetables (7.29%) and egg (6.26%) etc.

·         Decisions taken by the Union Cabinet 11–The Union Cabinet chaired by chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for signing of the MoU for cooperation in the legal field between India and Morocco, in order to share their experience and expertise in the field of law and legislation, between the India and Swaziland on cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine, between India and Suriname on cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration including exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of organizational and technical development of electoral process; support in exchanging information, institutional strengthening and capacity building, training of personnel, holding regular consultations etc.  

·         30 States and Union Territories participate in State Startup Ranking Framework 2018— With the aim to foster competitiveness and to propel the States and Union Territories to work proactively towards promotion of their Startup eco-systems, the States Startup Ranking Framework was launched by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) on 6th February 2018. This was also targeted at facilitating States/UTs to identify, learn and replicate good practices from each other and for bringing to fore, their own progress in the regard.

·         Roll out of e-Way Bill system for intra-State movement of goods in the States– As per the decision of the GST Council, e-Way Bill system for inter-State movement of goods has been rolled out from 01st April, 2018. As on 13th May, 2018, e-Way Bill system for intra-State movement of goods has been rolled out in the States/ Union Territory of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Puducherry.

·         Memorandum of Understanding signed with States for implementing PMRSSM— Hon’ble Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Shri J P Nadda, presided over a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony with four States – Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Union Territory of Chandigarh for implementing Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Mission (PMRSSM),at a regional workshop for northern States at Shimla recently. The Union Health Minister further stated that health is at the centre-stage and the Government is looking at it holistically. He said that PMRSSM will protect the people and at the same time Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) will deliver comprehensive primary health care.

·         Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Forms 19 Teams to Undertake Cleaning of Beaches, River Fronts and Lakes— In the build-up to the World Environment Day 2018, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, has formed 19 teams to take up cleaning of beaches, river fronts and lakes in the country. Cleaning up of around 24 beaches in nine (9) coastal states (list attached) and cleaning of river fronts in 24 identified polluted stretches in 19 states (list attached) will be undertaken. Besides the listed rivers, a special cleanliness drives will be carried out at Yamuna riverfront in Delhi. Certain lakes and water bodies have also been identified for cleaning.

Finance

·         RBI notifies permissible activities under setting up of IFSC Banking Units (IBUs)– This is in reference to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) circular DBR.IBD.BC.14570/23.13.004/2014-15 dated April 01, 2015, as modified from time to time, setting out RBI directions relating to IFSC Banking Units (IBUs). In terms of para 2.3 of the circular, the parent bank will be required to provide a minimum capital of USD 20 million or equivalent in any foreign currency to start their IBU operations and the IBU should maintain the minimum prescribed regulatory capital on an on-going basis as per regulations amended from time to time.

Trade

·         WTO suggests strong global trade growth to continue but get soften in Q2-2018– The World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) latest World Trade Outlook Indicator (WTOI) suggests that strong trade growth continues but may soften in second quarter of 2018. The latest value of 101.8 is down from 102.3 in the last WTOI release in February 2018 but above the baseline value of 100 indicating growth in line with recent trends, which suggests continued solid trade growth in the second quarter but probably at a slightly slower pace than in the first quarter.

·         Merchandize exports and imports grew by 5.17% and 4.6% during April 2018, respectively– India’s merchandize exports have exhibited growth of 5.17% in April 2018 to value at USD 25.91 billion compared to USD 24.64 billion during April 2017. India’s merchandize imports grew by 4.6% to value at USD 39.63 billion in April 2018 compared to USD 37.88 billion during same period previous year.

Our Voice

Sudden jump in WPI inflation worrying– Sudden jump in WPI inflation to 3.18% in the month of April 2018 from 2.47% in March 2018 is worrying. Rise in the prices of fruits and vegetables, fuel and power vis-à-vis increase in international crude oil prices, have stoked the overall WPI inflation. Prices of fruits have increased to 19.47% in April 2018 from 9.26% in March 2018 while prices of vegetables have increased to (-) 0.89% in April 2018 from (-) 2.70% in March 2018. Prices of fuel and power on the other hand have increased to 7.85% in April 2018 from 4.7% in March 2018 due to increase in international crude oil prices to the tune of 13%. We hope that prices should not escalate further as prediction for the good monsoon is intact and stability is expected in the international crude oil process going forward. Further reforms in the agriculture sector and supply chain would provide a great stability in the inflation scenario in the coming times.

Economy so far

·         Rising oil prices: Import bill may rise up to $50 bn – The finance ministry stated rising crude oil prices could drive up India’s import bill in the range of $25-50 billion this fiscal, worsening the current account deficit. However, elevated oil prices would impact neither economic growth nor the fiscal deficit of the Centre.

·         Growing at 9-10 pc challenge for India, says Niti Aayog CEO Shri Amitabh Kant -Growing at a 9-10 % rate in the next 30 years is a challenge for India which is expanding at 7.5 % per annum. He stated that the country has created one of the finest startup ecosystems in the world and these ventures are doing extremely well.

·         India Corruption Study: 75% households feel corruption went up, 27% say paid bribe – The study by CMS, a not-for-profit, multi-disciplinary development research and facilitative think-tank set-up in 1991, estimates that households in the 13 states that were part of the study would have paid between Rs 2,500 to Rs 2,800 crore during a year to avail these public services.

·         Currency situation normal, all ATMs functioning well says Economic Affairs Secretary – The currency situation is completely normal and ATMs are working well across the country stated Economic Affairs Secretary. Adequate amount of currency is available across the country and there are no reports of shortage now, he told reporters here. It is to be noted that five-six states faced currency shortage last month, prompting the government and the RBI to take various steps to ease the situation.

·         China’s ‘debt trap’ economics will likely result in it gaining greater access to nations around India: US think-tank – An influential US think-tank expert has warned that the increasing Chinese economics of “debt trap” will likely result in Beijing gaining greater access to several key countries around India.

·         RBI issues guidelines on net stable funding ratio – The RBI issued detailed NSFR guidelines to ensure that banks maintain a stable funding profile in relation to the composition of their assets and off-balance sheet activities. In the backdrop of the global financial crisis that started in 2007, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) proposed certain reforms to strengthen global capital and liquidity regulations with the objective of promoting a more resilient banking sector.

·         Falling rupee to impact investor return of solar projects: Ind-Ra – Depreciation of rupee will impact investor return of solar power projects, according to rating agency Ind-Ra. A weakening rupee, if unhedged, will impact investor returns in bid solar projects in the event of a significant exchange rate variation between the time of bidding and finalisation of module supply agreement.

·         Investment in NCD control leads to improvement in health, economy, says WHO report – A WHO report shows that the world’s poorest countries can gain USD 350 billion by 2030 by scaling up investments in preventing and treating chronic diseases like cancer and heart ailments, which will save more than 8 million lives.

·         Odisha touches record high revenue generation – The total revenue generation in Odisha reached a record high by the end of the fiscal year 2017-18.The total revenue collection during 2017-18 has been to the tune of Rs 84,793 crore. This is the all-time high revenue generation in the state and around 22.24 % of the total Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).

·         Centre’s Finances: FY18 fiscal deficit at 3.42% versus RE of 3.5% – The Centre has contained its fiscal deficit for FY18 at 3.42% of gross domestic product (GDP), down from 3.5% estimated (RE) when Budget FY19. An Rs 85,000-crore (3.8%) reduction in expenditure from the RE level of rs 22.18 lakh crore and a marginal upward revision in nominal GDP in the second advance estimate (the Budget relied on the first advance estimate) allowed the government to curb the deficit.

·         Renewables firms CEOs find low tariffs irrational – Most of the leaders in the domestic renewable energy sector believe that developers have been irrationally aggressive while bidding for solar and wind power plants in the reverse auctions held by the central and state governments. A survey conducted by renewable consultancy firm Bridge to India found out threats from impending safeguard duty, poor policy environment and weak financial condition of discoms to be the biggest challenges the sector is facing at present.

·         Cabinet approves National Biofuel Policy – The Cabinet approved the National Policy on Biofuels which allows doping of ethanol produced from damaged foodgrains, rotten potatoes, corn and sugar beet with petrol to cut oil imports by Rs 4,000 crore this year alone. Till now only ethanol produced from sugarcane was allowed to be mixed in petrol.

·         Urgent need to auction private blocks to hike coal production, says CARE Ratings – India remains among the top-3 coal producers in the world and as per data for 2016 by IEA, overtook USA. India has been reporting growth in production to fuel its large thermal power capacity which contributes to 72% of the country’s electricity generation.

·         Trade facilitation pact in services at WTO to push global economy- Commerce and Industry Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu pitched for inclusion of the trade facilitation pact on services in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) stating it would help promote growth of the global economy.

·         Inflation to average around 5.1% this fiscal, says HSBC report – Inflation is set to rise further towards the second half of the fiscal, and could average 5.1 % this financial year compared to 3.6 % last year, stated an HSBC report. According to the global financial services major, the factors that are likely to impact inflation going forward include higher oil prices, a weaker rupee, higher MSPs and more currency in circulation.

Markets so far

          Indicators

Yearly

Monthly

Daily

2015

2016

2017

Feb 18

March 18

April 18

(16-05-2018)

(17-05-2018)

(18-05-2018)

BSE SENSEX

26118

26,626

34,056.83

34,184.04

30,491

35,160.36

35,387.88

35,149.12

34,848.30

GOLD (10 GRMS)

24994

29419.95

28966.08

30,356.92

30,419.28

30,955.57

30,954

30,826

30,921

CRUDE OIL (1 BBL)

2,431

2,924.63

3,317.11

4004.70

4072.57

4,341.41

4,815

4,849

4,841

EXCHANGE  RATE (INR/USD)

64.15

67.21

65.11

64.37

65.02

65.63

67.79

67.69

68.01

Source: PHD Research Bureau, complied from BSE, MCX and Bloomberg

Unemployment and Consumer Sentiments Indices

          Indicators

27-04-2018

03-05-2018

India

Urban

Rural

India

Urban

Rural

Unemployment Rate

5.98

6.43

5.75

5.86

6.59

5.48

Consumer Sentiments

93.31

86.05

97.63

94.01

86.71

98.18

Source: PHD Research Bureau, complied from BSE

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