An apex body of American manufacturers has launched a massive anti-India campaign just ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s United States visit, protesting India’s allegedly discriminatory trade practises.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is launching digital and print advertisements in New York and Washington, in major publications like POLITICO, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Financial Times, Roll Call and The Hill.
“Manufacturers and Congress Agree: India must play fair on trade,” one of the advertisements said. The total amount being spend by NAM on this campaign is not clear.
“At a time when Washington can’t agree on much, there is overwhelming bipartisan opposition to India’s discriminatory trade practises, with over 170 house members and 40 recently signing letters urging Secretary (John) Kerry to take action,” NAM said in statement.
The move comes after a series of campaign urging the Obama Administration to press India on addressing concerns over several Indian trade and business policies.
Singh is scheduled to meet US President Barack Obama at the White House next Friday during which economic issues are expected to be a major topics of discussion, according to White House officials.
Through its campaign, NAM has urged the Obama Administration to raise their concerns at the highest levels of the Indian government and to coordinate closely with the European Union and other like-minded economies. Read More
With the festival season round the corner and the Government falling short of any room to cut interest rates, the Finance Ministry in tandem with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is looking at a way to facilitate cheaper home and auto loans at lower rates to the common man, in order to bring some cheer in the automobile and real estate sectors which have borne the brunt of the global slowdown.
The Finance Ministry is learnt to be in the process of evaluating a scheme launched by the Bank of England under which banks are given loans by it at lower rates.
According to official sources, the ministry along with RBI is mulling to launch a similar scheme where banks could get loans from the apex bank at 1% to 2% lower than the market rates and this could be passed on the consumers as cheaper home and auto loans.
The scheme tentatively titled ‘funding for lending’ may be announced by the RBI in its policy review scheduled for September 20, sources said. Read More
The new government in Iran has withdrawn all crucial oil and gas concessions that had been promised to India by its predecessor.
Oil minister Bijan N Zangeneh, it is learnt, told Indian ambassador D P Srivastava on September 1 that Tehran would not accept the entire payment for crude oil imported by India in rupees as agreed in July.
India was banking on 100 per cent rupee payment for Iranian crude to cut its forex outflow. Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily had assured Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month that an additional 11 million tonnes would be imported from Iran in 2013-14 to save $ 8.47 billion.
Iran has since stopped issuing invoices in rupees for the full quantity of crude and reverted to the old system of accepting only 45 per cent of the payment in rupees. Read More
Strong data from India on Thursday and a recent recovery in the rupee makes it tempting to conclude that the worst for India’s current crisis is in the past.
The rupee is up 8 per cent from its record low last month, and the new data showed inflation cooling and industrial production rebounding. But don’t get too excited, says economist Sonal Varma at Nomura.
Ms Varma says Thursday’s unexpected 2.6 per cent gain in July industrial output was led by volatile components that are likely to reverse, while consumer price inflation only moderated to a still-elevated 9.5 per cent.
Far from seeing recovery, Ms Varma worries about the spectre of stagflation – the ugly combination of low growth and inflation – on the short-term horizon.
Financial conditions have tightened significantly since July, which should hurt investment demand. Growth over the past four months has been buttressed by greater government spending, which cannot continue against the backdrop of slowing revenue growth. A combination of high interest rates, high inflation and weak income growth should also hurt private consumption demand.
Nomura anticipates India’s GDP will fall to 4.2 per cent in the fiscal year ending March 2014 — almost half the decade-average of 8 per cent. Read More
The government today permitted Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to invest $4.3 billion in special bonds of the World Bank, which would raise the agency’s lending limit to India by a similar amount to $21.8 billion for infrastructure investment.
The decision to allow Reserve Bank of India to enter into a special private placement bond agreement with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) was approved by the Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The additional borrowing space would enable government of India to commit new projects with the World Bank assistance, an official statement said. Read More
Investment banks said on Friday the data came from Boston-based fund tracker EPFR Global in its weekly report to clients.
It showed net outflows from emerging bond funds stood at $2.01bn in the week to August 28, picking up from the previous week’s $1.3bn, banks said.
Emerging equity funds posted net outflows of $3.9bn, banks cited the data as showing, more than double the previous week’s $1.7bn.
Bonds denominated in emerging market currencies were particularly hard hit, as currencies such as the Turkish lira, Indonesian rupiah and the Indian rupee, fell sharply against the dollar. Such funds shed $1.1bn net. Read More
With no sign of the economy recovering, India’s GDP for the June quarter grew by 4.4 percent, the lowest in the last four years.
The country’s economy had grown by 5.4 percent in same period of the previous fiscal.
India’s economy grew declined to 5 percent in 2012-13 from 6.2 percent in 2011-12. The economy had grown by 8 percent for two consecutive years prior to that.
While manufacturing and mining sectors have been one of the reasons behind the fall in the GDP, the fall in rupee, which hit a record low of 68.85 earlier this week, is seen as one of the major factors too.
Addressing the Parliament on Friday prior to the announcement of the GDP growth, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured the country on the rupee and economy stating that the economy would grow by 5.5 percent in the current fiscal.
“There is no reason to believe that we are going down the hill and that 1991 is on the horizon,” the prime minister said in the Rajya Sabha. Read More
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh finally broke his silence on the deep economic crisis being witnessed by the nation when on Thursday he said that the “country is faced with difficult economic situation” and several domestic and international factors are to be held responsible for it.
“The country is faced with the difficult economic situation and there are several causes,” Manmohan Singh said during question hour in the Rajya Sabha in response to repeated demands from the opposition for a statement on the issue of grave economic situation, the nation is faced with.
“I do not deny if there are some domestic factors but there are also international factors arising out of the changes in the US monetary stand,” he further said. Read More
India is suffering from a spate of economic ills: too much state control in the government, too much inflation, too high deficits, and so forth.
And it may be on the verge of making things worse.
India’s lower house of parliament just passed a food bill that will give subsidized grain to 2/3rds of the country’s citizens. The aim of the bill, which is supported by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is to reduce hunger. But economists are saying things might backfire.
In a note to clients this morning, Nomura says the law (if it goes all the way through) will be problematic for several reasons. Read More
Five Indian soldiers were killed early on Tuesday on the line of control in Poonch in a cross border attack by regular Pakistani troops, Army officials said.
The attack took place on the Indian side of the border when the troops were on a regular patrol. Sources said that a Pakistani army team had crossed the border under the cover of darkness and had laid an ambush.
The Indian troops were caught in one of the deadliest cross border attacks on the LoC in recent times. Sources said that the soldiers belonged to the Bihar regiment.
This is the biggest attack in the Poonch area after the killing of two soldiers and beheading of one in January that had triggered off a series of fire exchanges. Sources said there are no reports of mutilation in today’s attack. Read More