Ignore the doom mongers, India will return to the high growth path by winter.

There’s an old truism about India which holds that for everything that is true about this country, the exact opposite is also correct. This is true for the Indian economy as well.

The country’s foreign exchange reserves recently crossed the $400-billion mark, making India the world’s sixth-largest holder of forex, ahead of the Euro zone, Brazil and Taiwan. The Indian rupee, which had fallen to a low of Rs 68.85 against the US dollar four years ago under the previous Congress-led UPA regime, has gained about 6 per cent to about Rs 64 and experts expect it to strengthen further.

The notion of globalisation is not under threat as a result of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, writes a senior academic.

A day after the crucial Brexit Vote, it seemed the world had opened its eyes to a new world. An island within Europe had willingly decided to split from the European Union (EU) forever. Soon after, while there was opposition and emotional outcry by people who were not observant of current realities. Brexit isn’t as surprising as it seems in the first instance. Change has always been coming and so it will continue, for good or bad. The only way to be successful, for every individual, business or country, is to evolve and adapt to new realities.

The introduction of GST has passed of smoothly and the economy looks set to enter a higher growth trajectory once the initial teething troubles are sorted out.

At the stroke of the midnight hour on the intervening night of June 30 and July 1, while the world slept, much of India was wide awake, watching President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally launch the much awaited Goods and Services Tax (GST).



At the stroke of the midnight hour, India was transformed – from 29 discrete markets each with its own labyrinthine tax laws to one common market.

The biggest challenge for India’s Renewable Energy targets is the intermittent nature of Wind and Solar technology, writes a power sector expert.

India remains the fastest growing economy with GDP upwards of 7 per cent and growing population. With increasing urbanisation and growing needs and demands, the energy requirement is also growing at a CAGR of 5 per cent from FY2010.

The capacity addition in the 11th plan (2007-2012) has been 50GW and that in 12th plan (2012-2017) and beyond is close to 130GW. The main contribution for this significant capacity addition (CAGR 10.5 per cent) has come from the private sector, which now has the largest share of 145GW followed by state sector with 104GW and remaining with central sector. With the significant capacity addition, the energy deficit which was 10 per cent in 2009-10 has reduced to 0.6 per cent in 2017-18 and the peak power deficit from 12.8 per cent to 0.6 per cent in 2017. The present energy generation in the country is close to 1300TWh with 330GW of operational capacity comprising mainly fossil fuel 225GW, Hydro 45GW and Renewables 55GW. Renewables comprise Wind, Solar Bio mass and Hydro <25MW. With 1.3-billion population, the per capita consumption of electricity is close to 1000KWh/annum – a third of global average.

Sunil Misra, as Director-General of the Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers Association (IEEMA), has an inside track on the country’s renewables challenge. He speaks to ‘India Investment Journal’ on what gives India an edge in this sector and how the 175GW target for renewable electricity generation by 2022 is on course.

What are the main factors behind a surge in India’s electrical industry sector?

India has seen significant and continued growth in its GDP and per capita income. There has been a substantial increase in in middle class and also aspirations of people, giving rise to consumption.

This enhanced consumption requires strengthening of the Transmission and Distribution network, which the country is undertaking with full vigour through its recent initiatives in coal and renewable sector. The government has also increased its spending on rural electrification in parallel schemes with IPDS (Integrated Power Development Scheme) and DDUGJY (Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana), which has further spurred the demand of electrical equipment in India.

The new Goods and Services Tax (GST) will help neutralise the centrifugal forces in the Indian economy, writes a policy expert.



The historical project of transforming India from a conglomeration of sub-national identities and interests to a modern nation state began with our Independence. The assimilation of more than 500 princely states, which had been rather ingeniously given the choice by the departing British colonial administration to either secede or join the Indian Union was the first major step in this direction. That process of creating a unified, coherent and efficiently working nation state has been given another hefty push by the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from 1 July 2017.

The easy availability of electricity is a critical enabler of socio-economic growth in India, writes India Inc. CEO Manoj Ladwa.

The basic building block for sustained economic growth is now in place. From a chronically electricity-deficit country, India has, in a space of three short years, turned the power sector around – so much so, that not only does the country now have surplus power, it is also exporting electricity to neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar.

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi appointed Piyush Goyal as Minister of State for Power, Coal, Mines & Renewable Energy (Independent Charge) in 2014, India was reeling under a massive deficit of 87 billion Kwhs or 9 per cent of demand. Result: the economy was suffering long, daily power cuts and the use of diesel generators for back-up that sapped productivity and ate into corporate profitability.

There was little light visible at the end of the tunnel as India’s state-owned power distribution companies, or discoms as they are called, were also bleeding. With cumulative debts of more than $50 billion, they were having to borrow money just to keep their operations running, thus, pushing them further into debt.

This turnaround has made it possible for the Indian government to announce that it would be in a position to fulfil its election promise of providing power for all by next year – a full year ahead of schedule.

This is an incredible achievement. The easy availability of electricity is a critical enabler of socio-economic growth. Being the basic building block of prosperity, power is also the key enabler of several flagship schemes announced by the Prime Minister. There can be no Make in India, Digital India, Start-up India, Skill India or even Swacch Bharat without the provision of adequate electricity.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of an educated and empowered nation would also have come to nothing without adequate electricity. Power, as we all know, is sine qua non for children to study, do their homework and prepare for examinations.

The rejuvenation of the power sector will have an impact far beyond the remit of the ministry itself as will help change the lives of millions that currently live, or till recently lived, in darkness.

Power, arguably, is the most critical component of the Prime Minister’s promise of providing jobs for the 10-12 million youth who join the Indian workforce every year. Key to accomplishing this goal is the aim of increasing the share of manufacturing from 18 per cent of GDP at present to 25 per cent of GDP by 2025.

Among several constraints that are holding up the growth of the manufacturing sector was the lack of adequate power to run the machines in thousands of small and medium enterprises that form the backbone of any economy and are the main incubator of the millions of low skilled jobs that really bring prosperity to people at the bottom of the pyramid. I have purposely left out large and heavy industries because they can afford to set up captive power plants or make provisions for back-up power from diesel generators.

But Minister Goyal himself will admit that his job is only half done. Almost a quarter billion Indians still do not have access to electricity in their homes. Turning this situation around and providing power to fuel the expected manufacturing boom in the coming years will consume the current surplus and call for additional sources of electricity.

This is where the Prime Minister’s ambitious target of achieving 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 will come into play. Achieving this target will not only to enable India to meet its emission goals under the Paris climate accord but also to meet the additional demand that improving economic growth and rising numbers of power consumers will generate.

There will be challenges, for sure. Financing large projects in India remains an issue as the banking sector, which is in the throes of a bad loan crisis, is unable to provide large volumes of credit. Then, the issue of balancing the infirm power that wind and solar plants generate – the potential this has to destabilise the grid – has not yet been resolved.

But neither of these problems is insurmountable and there is every reason to be optimistic that solutions will be found.

This edition of ‘India Investment Journal’ tracks Minister Goyal’s mega power challenge as he travels around the world to scout for investments, besides the usual cross-sector coverage.

Manoj Ladwa is the founder of India Inc. and chief executive of MLS Chase Group @manojladwa

A leading consultant analyses the factors that have made investing in India easier and a more rewarding experience as long as investors go in with a level of preparedness.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently altered its predicted growth rate for India slightly downward to 6.8 per cent, but this is still attractive compared to the sluggish rates of growth elsewhere in the world. Foreign investors’ confidence in India has also recently improved, making it the eighth most attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). Meanwhile India’s ranking in the World Bank’s league table for ‘ease of doing business’ is rising, albeit at 130 the improvement isn’t over yet!

These changes have been strongly influenced by the government’s attempts to make India a more attractive market by, for example, implementing demonetisation in November 2016, increasing online transactions and the planned introduction of a common nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July.

Make in India, one of the flagship initiatives launched under Prime Minister Modi, has led to a step change in FDI inflows, writes an investment facilitator.

The total FDI inflows into India stood at $60.1 billion in 2016-17 — the highest ever in a single year. Compared to 2013-14, this represents a 75 per cent increase. India’s achievement is even more stark when compared to falling global FDI flows as highlighted by UNCTAD. More importantly, Make in India has enabled long-term structural changes such as opening new sectors for FDI, increasing the ease of doing business, cutting the red tape and improving the physical infrastructure.

A new report by a leading UK-based think tank claims there is enough untapped trade potential to offset the possible effects of Brexit on exports to the European Union (EU).

Open Europe, in its research titled ‘Global Britain: Priorities for trade beyond the EU’, has said that Britain can make up for any export loss as it exits the EU by building on under-developed links with countries like India and making it a priority in its trade negotiations.

“There’s little point making policy looking at just today’s world. According to projections, Germany’s GDP will grow by 14 per cent between 2017 and 2030. Over the same period India’s is expected to more than double. So, we have modelled how the data will appear in 2030, using predicted growth figures,” the report says.