India will return to 8% growth in 2 years: Chidambaram

Ireo Gurgaon Hills

Ireo Gurgaon Hills

Asserting that India can absorb $50-billion foreign investment annually, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has said the downturn in Indian economy is temporary and the growth will return to 8 per cent in two years.

Acknowledging the largeness of the current account deficit (CAD) at around 5 per cent of GDP in 2012-13, he said the Government had no timelines or targets in mind for bringing it down. He expressed hope that softening of oil prices will help bring down CAD.

Addressing the international media here, Chidambaram said the Government was reviewing the sectoral FDI caps as many of them were imposed at different points of time.

“India is poised for a potential growth rate of 8 per cent and the country has not fixed the limit to foreign investments,” he said.

“We as a country can easily absorb $50-billion investments a year or more. In the hierarchy of foreign inflows, FDI ranks first followed by FII and external commercial borrowings. FDI is important to India too as in any other country,” he said.

Chidambaram, who met investors in Canada and US this week, said India’s downturn was a temporary phenomenon. “I agree that it’s a legitimate question but we have an answer.

Read more: Business Line

FM assures US investors of more reforms

After selling the India growth story in Canada, Finance Minister P Chidambaram is wooing investors in the US, promising reforms such as resolving the issue of fuel supply to the power sector, setting up regulators for the road and coal sectors and putting in place simpler procedures for foreign institutional investors (FIIs). He also assured investors the coming elections wouldn’t come in the way of reforms and their investments in India were protected by the rule of law.

After hosting a meeting of about 100 investors in Boston last night, Citi Group, in a report, said Chidambaram had laid out the agenda for the next few months — “regulator for road and coal, resolution of coal supply issues (in the next few weeks) and the likelihood of another round of power tariff hikes”. More importantly, there was a commitment on delivery and confidence the coming elections wouldn’t be a hitch, the report said.

Read more: Business Standard

Will achieve our ambitious economic agenda by elections: FM

Finance Minister P Chidambaram has assured global investors that their concerns over India’s economy will be put to rest and the government will achieve its “ambitious economic agenda” by next year’s Lok Sabha elections.

“Global industry wants India to succeed. India will succeed. I know this past year has caused a lot of concern, but this year is over and by elections we will achieve our ambitious economic agenda,” Chidambaram said yesterday at a closed door meeting with investors hosted by the US-India Business Council (USIBC) here.

Chidambaram is currently touring US cities to attract foreign investment and sell India’s growth story to investors as India grapples with a high current account deficit.

“India currently holds a record high current account deficit and FDI could be the key to closing that gap,” USIBC said in a statement.

Read more: The Economic Times


Fall in gold prices hurts foreign investors more than Indians

When gold prices were spiralling upward in international markets by 48 per cent over the past five years, India saw the precious metal appreciate by a staggering 111.3 per cent. The falling rupee was mainly responsible for the meteoric rise of gold as an investment opportunity, with prices appreciating at over twice the international rates.

But while the steep fall in international prices of the precious metal over the past few trading days has been reflected in Indian rates, the decline has not been proportionate. Consequently, Indian investors have not been hurt as badly as their foreign counterparts.

If one considers a one-year time span, while international gold prices are down 15.7 per cent, in India, prices of the precious metal are down 9 per cent. This means that foreign investors who bought gold a year ago have seen greater erosion in their investment than their Indian counterparts. Even if we consider a shorter duration investment, Indian consumers have seen their gold investments lose less value than overseas investors. While global gold prices are down 13.5 per cent from their levels a month ago, Indian prices have only fallen 11.7 per cent. And from a three-month perspective, international gold prices are down 17.4 per cent, while the rates at home have only fallen by 15.1 per cent.

Read more: Business Line


India to double renewable energy capacity by 2017: Manmohan Singh

India plans to double its renewable energy capacity to 55,000 MW by 2017 as part of efforts to increase efficiency of its energy use, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here today.

India plans to double its renewable energy capacity to 55,000 MW by 2017 as part of efforts to increase efficiency of its energy use, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here today.

“It is proposed to double the renewable energy capacity in our country from 25000 MW in 2012 to 55000 MW by the year 2017,” he said inaugurating the Fourth Clean Energy Ministerial conference here.

He said this would include exploiting non-conventional energy sources such as solar, wind power and energy from biomass.

Singh said India’s 12th Five Year Plan recognised the importance of evolving a low carbon strategy for inclusive and sustainable growth.

“We have set ourselves a national target of increasing the efficiency of energy use to bring about a 20 to 25 per cent reduction in the energy intensity of our GDP by 2020,” he said, adding that the Plan envisaged an expanded role for clean energy, including hydel, solar and wind power.

Read more: The Economic Times

Digital Economy/IT

India to have its own GPS soon

The first of the seven satellites, Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), will be launched during the second week of June 2013 giving India its own indigenous air navigation system/Global Positioning System (GPS), which would provide information on location and time in all weather conditions.

The IRNSS-1, which will be under complete control of the , will be launched using the polar satellite launch vehicle, PSLV-C22, from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh’s launch pad.

It will provide two major services, with Standard Positioning Service open for civilian use and Restricted Service, encrypted one, for authorized users (military).

“The satellite constellation, IRNSS, aims to increase position accuracy and provide standard positioning service for common users and restricted service for authorized users,” said ISRO chief K Radhakrishnan at the sidelines of a national conference on Space Based Navigations held at the ISRO satellite center on Wednesday.

Read more: The Economic Times


NHAI pushes for removal of Gurgaon toll plaza

Commuters moving between Delhi and Gurgaon may soon zip through the expressway without stopping at the 32-lane toll plaza. The National Highways Authority of India has asked the expressway project’s lead lender and its concessionaire to come up with a proposal to remove the toll plaza, which is the source of peak hour traffic jams every day.

Around two lakh vehicles go through the toll plaza every day. At peak hours, cars constitute 72% of the traffic and the wait time can be as long as 10 minutes.

A top NHAI official confirmed the move to remove the plaza. He told TOI that even the second plaza at KM 42 (Kherki Dhaula) could be shifted further down the road towards Jaipur so that it falls outside the city limits.

“This arrangement would mean large number of vehicles plying between Gurgaon and Delhi won’t be subjected to traffic snarls and won’t have to pay toll. On the other hand, the traffic towards Jaipur would pay full toll at a single point outside Gurgaon,” said the official.

Read more: The Times of India

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