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H I G H L I G H T S

•     GDP up 20% in Q1 2021-22; its real size lower than Q1 2019-20
•     National Monetization Plan ambitious, raises questions
•     Push for new infrastructure scheme, ambivalence on privatization
•     Scrappage policy to boost auto sales, curb vehicular pollution
•     RBI monetary policy maintains status quo, bats for growth
•     Different strokes from Monetary Policy Committee members
•     Exports spurt in July, showing growth for eighth month running
•     Wholesale

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H I G H L I G H T S

•     Government finances better with higher tax revenues
•     Poor disinvestment and slow capex rise cause for concern
•     Delicensing power distribution part of big legislative agenda
•     Implementing power distribution reform key to its success
•     New law to pave the way for general insurance privatisation 
•     IBC tweaked to allow pre-pack resolution of stressed MSMEs 
•     Easier access to insured deposits in banks facing moratorium
•     Mining law change to

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H I G H L I G H T S

•  Indian economy’s contraction in 2020-21 revised down
•  April-June 2020 saw India’s worst decline in economic output
•  Agriculture bucked the overall decline in many sectors
•  Construction led the recovery from third quarter 
•  Services remained in contraction mode for the whole of 2020-21
•  Growth forecast for 2021-22 lowered by World Bank, RBI   
•  Sharp variations in Govt’s tax revenue estimates
•  Actual tax revenues fell 10-12 % over RE in 2018-19 & 2019-20
•  Ac

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•  Growth prospects take a hit after 2nd wave of COVID-19
•  Finance Ministry plays down the overall impact on economy
•  RBI rolls out package to address concerns over COVID-19
•  Fillip to bond buying programme to help soften yields 
•  Loan restructuring move to help stressed MSMEs
•  False cheer on industrial growth, real concern on inflation  
•  Automobile sales mask deeper industry-wide problems
•  Good tidings on GST collections in April
•  E-way bills generation shows worrying trend
•  

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H I G H L I G H T S

•  Growth prospects take a hit after 2nd wave of COVID-19
•  Finance Ministry plays down the overall impact on economy
•  RBI rolls out package to address concerns over COVID-19
•  Fillip to bond buying programme to help soften yields 
•  Loan restructuring move to help stressed MSMEs
•  False cheer on industrial growth, real concern on inflation  
•  Automobile sales mask deeper industry-wide problems
•  Good tidings on GST collections in April
•  E-way bills generation show

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H I G H L I G H T S

•  Economic growth prospects for 2021-22 take a hit
•  Inflation concerns may worsen, impacting RBI’s options
•  Second Covid wave sees fewer curbs on economic activity
•  A shift in the vaccination strategy; states to do heavy lifting
•  New strategy reduces Central spend on vaccines
•  Maruti exudes optimism on car sales
​​​​​•  Automobile sales back to where they were in 2015
•  Industrial output falls; consumer durables buck trend
•  Positive surprise on Centre’s tax coll

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H I G H L I G H T S

•  A lower fiscal deficit for 2020-21, thanks to higher tax revenues
•  March pick-up in exports helps reduce full year’s trade gap
•  GST collections recovery reflects improved procedures
•  No change in inflation targeting regime, but prices up
•  Economy tracker: Covid surge shows a deceleration in activity
•  Three relaxations that impacted India Inc and banks
​​​​​•  Extending deadline on e-mandate on recurring payments 
•  Enforcement of Labour Code deferred, ball in st

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H I G H L I G H T S

•  Mixed picture on growth, worries on fourth quarter numbers
•  RBI Report hints at maintaining existing inflation targets
•  No rate cut, but bond market spikes worry RBI 
•  Retail inflation down, industrial output up
•  Trade data offers relief as domestic demand improves
•  PM batting for private enterprise, sets a new benchmark

 

Mixed picture on growth, worries on fourth quarter numbers

The news on the growth front was mixed as evident from the latest data released by

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H I G H L I G H T S

• Union Budget for 2021-22: An Assessment
• Using a fiscal crisis to lend greater transparency 
• No increase in revenue spend, but a big boost to capex
• Stability in direct taxes, but Customs review worrying
• Big reforms announced; implementation will be the key
• Privatisation and asset sale to raise resources
• Higher FDI & foreign ownership in insurance allowed
• Legislative reforms for ease of doing business
• Idea of a bad bank makes its debut; DFI makes a comeback

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Indian Economy Review | January 2021

H I G H L I G H T S

•  Different strokes : Higher NPAs and a glorious summer
•  GST collections buoyant, augurs well for recovery prospects
•  Automobile manufacturers see green shoots of recovery
•  Power consumption and railway freight pick up
•  Investment in new projects still a cause for worry
•  Unemployment rate lower, but mixed consumer sentiment
•  Rural work demand under MGNREGA spurts in December
•  A new framework for NBFC regulation
•  Govt crackdown on WhatsApp, enters a court batt

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Indian Economy Review | December 2020

H I G H L I G H T S

•  Rerating of economic recovery prospects 
•  Most agencies upgrade India growth estimates
•  Is India in a recession? Not really!
•  The other upsides of the Indian economy
•  A seven-pronged strategy from the RBI
•  Industrial output bounces back, but will it be sustained?
•  Retail inflation down, but no relief for RBI 
•  No cheer from exports, but industrial demand picks up
•  Direct tax collections recover smartly, but will miss target
•  Fresh momentum for Air India p

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Indian Economy Review | November 2020

H I G H L I G H T S

•    In spite of recovery, growth set to elude India in 2020-21 
•    Govt finances show the stress, but they are getting better
•    Opening up banking to corporates raises hackles of experts
•    Extending PLI scheme to 10 sectors: A double-edged sword?
•    Stimulus III: Fiscal cost contained within Rs 1.2 trillion

In spite of recovery, growth set to elude India in 2020-21 
 
For two successive quarters, the Indian economy has shrunk and technically is in recession, but it

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Indian Economy Review | October 2020

H I G H L I G H T S

•    Worrying signs in state finances
•    State Budgets shrinking with expenditure cuts
•    Stimulus II, but with negligible impact on the fisc
•    LTC measures may benefit 850,000 govt staffers
•    6 % rise in Central capex, but states may be worried
•    Confusion over GDP contraction estimates
•    Implications of near-zero growth
•    Nominal versus real may hold the key
•    Drawing comfort from higher inflation & growth
•    RBI bets on growth, ignores inflation wor

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Indian Economy Review | September 2020

H I G H L I G H T S

•  Vodafone tax controversy back to haunt the Govt
•  No resolution of the tax case even after 13 years
•  What it actually means for Govt finances
•  A lot about investment sentiment and a political promise
•  The 2014 Budget and its treatment of the Vodafone tax
•  Future of bilateral investment treaties in limbo
•  Labour law reforms gain momentum
•  Freedom to hire and fire, no hike in payout
•  A liberalised regime for the contract labour system
•  A leg-up for gig economy worke

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Indian Economy Review | August 2020

H I G H L I G H T S

  • Covid-19 has made growth challenges more complex, says RBI
  • No definitive growth forecast; post-pandemic recovery to be different
  • No hasty or disruptive withdrawal of regulatory easing
  • A long list of policy prescriptions for boosting the economy
  • Focus on global supply chains and free trade agreements
  • Shifting policy focus for agriculture and manufacturing
  • A four-pronged approach to address woes of the financial sector
  • GST compensation cess transfer to states comes to a halt
  • N
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Indian Economy Review | July 2020

H I G H L I G H T S 

  • Financial sector gets the Covid-19 jitters
  • RBI’s financial stress report raises NPA alarms
  • Challenges of moratorium, restructuring, capitalisation & funding
  • To extend moratorium or not to extend it beyond August
  • One-time loan restructuring and its implications for IBC
  • Demand for more bank capital; Govt finances to be under stress
  • Govt nudges banks to lend more, RBI Guv for non-banking funds
  • India toughens its stance on China with more policy action likely
  • After 18 years,
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Indian Economy Review | June 2020

H I G H L I G H T S 

  • Moody’s paints a gloomy picture  
  • S&P softens the Moody’s blow
  • Growth may recover, but indebtedness will rise
  • Different strokes from Moody’s and S&P
  • China story remains unscathed
  • Booster dose for Indian agriculture
  • Freeing up inter-state farm trading
  • Leg-up for contract farming, with pre-fixed farm prices
  • Breather from Essential Commodities Act for some crops
  • Lack of clarity may dilute agriculture reforms
  • A mixed picture on green shoots of economic recovery
  • Unemployment ra
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Indian Economy Review | May 2020

Surprises galore in the Modi package

The Narendra Modi government sprang a series of surprises on almost every commentator and critic, who had been wondering how it would meet its commitment of rolling out as large an economic package as Rs 20 lakh crore to counter the adverse impact of Covid-19 on the economy. On May 12, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had underlined the need for building a self-reliant India and promised an economic package of over Rs 20 lakh crore. This was about 10 per cent of

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Indian Economy Review | April 2020

Making growth forecasts post-Covid becomes more difficult

How serious will be the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on India’s economic growth?  The range of estimates on India’s growth of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020-21 is quite wide and, therefore, puzzling. It is difficult to state with certainty at this point in time which forecast is going to be closer to the final number on growth. But a quick review of the different estimates put out by different agencies will give an indication of

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Indian Economy Review | March 2020

Corona response; impact on the economy

What appeared very distant just two months ago became a danger signal next door within a few weeks and has now engulfed the whole nation as a full-blown crisis with an unprecedented impact on the country’s health and economy. On January 30, the first Coronavirus case was confirmed in India. By early March, it became a global pandemic and the Indian government advised caution to all its citizens, even though the spread was limited. In the second week of Marc

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About the Author

A K Bhattacharya
Distinguished Fellow, Ananta Centre
Editorial Director, Business Standard

After a 10-year long stint with Financial Express from 1978-1988, in different capacities in the areas of news gathering and news management, A.K. Bhattacharya joined The Economic Times in 1988 and functioned as its Chief of Bureau from 1990 to 1993. In 1994, he became its Associate Editor. He joined The Pioneer as Executive Editor in September 1994, stabilised the newspaper before becoming its Editor in 1995. He joined Business Standard in 1996 as Editor, News Services. Was its Resident Editor in Mumbai from July 1996 to September 1997 and helped the newspaper launch its Mumbai edition. From October 1997 to May 1998, he functioned as National Editor leading the paper's news operations. As Managing Editor of Business Standard between June 1998 and April 2000 and as its Group Managing Editor between May 2000 and October 2011, he oversaw the newspaper's news operations and editorial administration. From November 2011 to July 2016, he was the Editor of Business Standard. Since August 2016, he has been the Editorial Director of Business Standard on a part-time basis. He has been writing a regular column - New Delhi Diary - commenting on government affairs, since 1990 - that appeared in The Economic Times, Pioneer and now in Business Standard. Since 1997, he has been writing another column - Raisina Hill - commenting on developments/issues concerning bureaucracy.