Morning Brief: Modi’s Davos Vision; India Set To Become Fastest Growing Large Economy: Report; ‘Government May Tweak I-T Slabs’

by Swarajya Staff - Jan 22, 2018 06:07 AM +05:30 IST
Morning Brief: Modi’s Davos Vision; India Set To Become Fastest Growing Large Economy: Report; ‘Government May Tweak I-T Slabs’Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/GettyImages)

Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news and views brief for today.

Modi’s Vision For Davos: A day before his visit to Davos, to attend his maiden World Economic Forum (WEF) annual summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed confidence that the bilateral meetings will prove to be a big boost for India. Modi will showcase India as one of the key engines of global economic growth and outline the reforms his administration has carried out to make the economy a seamless and more investor-friendly market. In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister said, “At Davos, I look forward to sharing my vision for India’s future engagement with the international community.” He said India’s engagement with the outside world has become truly and effectively multi-dimensional covering the political, economic, people to people, security, and other spheres. Over 3,000 world leaders from various fields of business, politics, art, academia and civil society are scheduled to attend the WEF meeting over the course of five days. In a first at the WEF summit, India will also host yoga training sessions for the entire duration of the meeting, while also showcasing Indian heritage and culture in Davos.

India Set To Become Fastest Growing Large Economy: Report: This year will see India overtake China to be the fastest growing large economy, says a report. According to a Sanctum Wealth Management report, when the rest of the world offers low growth and insufficient structural change, India, by contrast, is seen as a reforming economy with the prospect of strong long-term growth. "Indian equity market will jump to become the fifth largest in the world," the report noted. At a time when developed economies are cheering 2-3 per cent growth, India is focused on breaching 7.5 per cent, it said. Moreover, India also benefits from a favourable contrast to other emerging markets. "Prospective returns for equities are much higher than the 6-8 per cent that one can expect from fixed income," it noted. The report that identifies various big-picture trends at play this year in the domestic and global economy, noted that Aadhaar, Jan Dhan, Demonetisation, GST, are working to create a new inclusive infrastructure in India.

Jaitley Must Try To Contain Fiscal Deficit: Top Economist: A top US-based economist has suggested that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley should try to achieve the fiscal deficit target and take more steps to implement projects efficiently in the forthcoming Budget. T N Srinivasan, the Samuel C Park Jr Professor Emeritus of Economics at Yale University, said there is no economic theory to link job losses to demonetisation and implementation of the goods and services tax (GST). "I expect him to contain the fiscal deficit as far as he can, take further steps to implement projects efficiently and on time," he said. The government is aiming to contain fiscal deficit for the current fiscal at 3.2 per cent of GDP. Jaitley is scheduled to present the Union Budget for 2018-19 on 1 February.

Gender Parity Can Boost Indian GDP By 27 Per Cent: Lagarde-Solberg: International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde and Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg have said in a joint paper that raising women's participation in the labour force to the same level as men can boost India's gross domestic product (GDP) by 27 per cent. Pitching for 2018 to be made "the year for women to thrive", the two leaders said "time is up for discrimination and abuse against women" in the paper published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) ahead of the Geneva-based organisation's annual summit in Swiss ski resort town Davos. Lagarde and Solberg are among the all-women co-chairs of the annual confab this year, beginning today. Indian social entrepreneur Chetna Sinha is also among the co-chairs for the annual summit that will be attended by 70 heads of government from across the world, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump. Women would account for 21 per cent of the overall participation at the meeting to be attended by over 3,000 world leaders including from politics, business, art and culture, academia and civil society.

CPI-M Panel Rejects Yechury's Plan For 2019 Congress Pact: A draft political resolution moved by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury favouring a tactical alliance with the Congress for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls was rejected by the party’s central committee. Two draft political resolutions, one by Yechury and the other by his predecessor Prakash Karat, were sent for discussion to the three-day central committee meeting in Kolkata. The two drafts were put to vote and Karat's document prevailed by a 55-31 margin and will be sent to the party congress. At a press briefing, Yechury said, "as per the adopted draft, there is no understanding or electoral alliance with Congress. But the final decision on that can only be taken at the party congress in Hyderabad. That will be the party's political line for the next three years.” The adopted draft resolution will be circulated among the party's rank and file and may be amended at the Hyderabad meeting.

Government May Tweak Income Tax Slabs: EY Survey: The Union government may tweak income tax slabs and rates in budget 2018-19 to bring down the burden on individuals, say a survey, which includes the views of 150 CFOs, tax heads and senior finance professionals and was conducted in January. In a pre-budget survey by tax consultant EY, a wide majority of 69 per cent of the respondents felt that the threshold limits for taxation would increase further in order to boost disposable income in the hands of the people. About 59 per cent of the respondents were of the view that multiple outdated deductions would be replaced with a standard deduction in order to reduce the tax burden of employees. About 48 per cent of the respondents said they expect the finance minister to lower corporate tax rate to 25 per cent, but the surcharge would continue.

Oil Ministry Is Working To Bring Fuel Prices Under GST, Says Pradhan: Union Oil Ministry is trying to bring petrol and diesel under the purview of the goods and services tax (GST). “We are trying that petrol, diesel and kerosene should also come under the ambit of GST. We are hopeful that the GST Council will agree to it shortly,” Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Sunday in Ujjain. Responding to a query, the minister said the spike in petrol rates in the international market has impacted the cost of the fuel in India. “Besides, the state governments too levy cess on petrol,” he said. The Congress had demanded that petroleum projects be brought under the GST ambit. In Indore, Pradhan rode a bicycle at Saksham Cyclothon to send the message of save fuel and environment.

Pressure Mounts On Islamabad To Prosecute Hafiz Saeed: A United Nations Security Council team will start a two-day visit on Thursday to Pakistan next week to assess Islamabad’s compliance with the world body’s sanctions regime as global pressure mounts on Pakistan to act against Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and entities linked to him. The visit by the monitoring team is taking place in the backdrop of increasing pressure on Islamabad from the US and India with respect to the inadequate implementation of the sanctions on Saeed and entities linked to him. Earlier, the US State Department spokesperson said it has clearly told Pakistan that Saeed is a “terrorist” and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Saeed, the chief of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), was released from house arrest in Pakistan in November. The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people. It has been declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014.

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We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!

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