The Year 2017 had been ear-marked as UK India Year of Culture by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his tour of Britain in November 2015. That announcement became a reality when Indian Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley, represented the Government of India at a historic reception in Buckingham Palace in London recently.

While the year is set to be packed with an array of cultural events, both in India and the UK, the key message amid all the glitz and glamour is a familiar one: that India is crucial to the British economy, which is on the brink of breaking away from the European Union (EU).

India’s Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley, just completed a packed tour of the UK during which Prime Minister Theresa May dropped in to a Downing Street meeting with his British counterpart, Chancellor Philip Hammond. ‘India Investment Journal’ caught up with the senior Indian Cabinet minister in London to explore his message for foreign investors, a possible free trade agreement (FTA) with post-Brexit Britain and the next phase of his dramatic reform agenda for the Indian economy.

Is post-Brexit UK a more, or less, attractive trading partner?

There is a considerable amount of interest in India, particularly after Brexit. Correspondingly my discussions in the past have also indicated that both investors and the government here [Britain] are looking for expanding opportunities of trade with India.

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has carefully nursed the country’s economy back to sound health.

He is equally at home rubbing shoulders with the world’s leading industrialists and investors in Davos, London and Singapore and inviting them to invest in India as he is strategising the nitty-gritty of how to win elections in hinterland Indian states. And all this when he isn’t dispensing advice to some of the thorniest legal problems of the land.

Newly appointed Principal Economic Advisor Sanjeev Sanyal is a polymath in more senses than one

He has eclectic reading habits that range from the Rig Veda to philosophers like Karl Popper to physicists such as Werner Heisenberg to the history of the sub-continent – when he isn’t thinking deeply about “complex adaptive systems” or criticising Marxist-style planning or Indian policy making.

A financial services expert talks ‘India Investment Journal’ through India’s bold demonetisation move and why it is good news for investors.

On November 8 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made what will be long-remembered as one of the most audacious policy announcements in the history of India: 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, which made up 86 per cent of all outstanding legal currency, were ‘demonetised’ and ceased to be legal tender with immediate effect.

UK India Business Council experts analyse what GST will mean for businesses worldwide and the challenges it faces in this ‘India Investment Journal’ special report.The introduction of GST will be a game changer for India, its economy, and for Mr Modi himself.When surveyed last October, 50 per cent of UK India Business Council members cited GST as the single most important reform they wanted the Modi Government to enact. The mood, now, is naturally positive.

The GST is still several crucial steps away from reality but the Modi government is moving methodically for its rollout from April 1 next year.

On September 1, 2016 Odisha became the 16th state to ratify the Constitutional Amendment Bill that will pave the way for the passage of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Bill, thus, fulfilling the constitutional requirement of at least half of India’s 29 states approving the bill. The President has, since, signed the 122nd Constitutional Amendment Bill into law soon.

An analysis of how the promise of a good Monsoon offers the much-needed turning point for the Indian economy.

Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley, his team at North Block, farmers, analysts and investors will have one eye peeled firmly on the skies. Will rain gods be bountiful this year? After two successive years of drought, which have hampered the government’s concerted efforts to revive the economy, there is hope for a normal Monsoon – and a sharp economic recovery – this year.

The shrill reactions have subsided. Knee-jerk comments like “After Rexit, ruin,” have, fortunately, proved premature and alarmist. Now that the dust is beginning to settle over Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan’s surprise announcement that he will be returning to academia at the end of his term as India’s central banker, it is a good time for a reality check on how his decision will impact the Indian economy.

S.B. Nayar, chairman and managing director of India’s state-owned infrastructure financier India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL), has a bird’s eye view of what is arguably India’s most exciting and also, ironically, most difficult sector – infrastructure. In an interview with Consulting Editor Arnab Mitra, he speaks of how investor sentiment has improved tremendously over the last two years and how the sector is now poised for a quantum jump.