Markets: Eerie calm

Markets: Eerie calm

it is not clear when market sentiment can change; as in the past, it can be quite sudden.
At a turn and yet not

At a turn and yet not

RBI could be tempted to cut policy rate to support growth at its bi-monthly review.

Narendra Modi's new govt faces 10 key pending economic reforms in India

May 16 2014, 14:06 IST
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Narendra Modi has promised big economic reforms. (PTI) Narendra Modi has promised big economic reforms. (PTI)
SummaryOpposition candidate Narendra Modi will be the next prime minister of India.

Opposition candidate Narendra Modi will be the next prime minister of India, with counting trends on Friday showing his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headed for the country's most resounding election in 30 years.

Narendra Modi has promised big economic reforms, without actually spelling out what he will actually do, to unblock stalled investments in power, road and rail projects to revive economic growth that has fallen to a decade low of below 5 percent.

Here are 10 economic reform challenges that would require urgent attention once Modi forms a new government:

1) GOODS AND SERVICES TAX (GST):

India's most ambitious indirect tax reform would replace existing state and federal levies with a uniform tax, boosting revenue collection while cutting business transaction costs.

GST, which could boost India's economy by up to two percentage points, has so far faced resistance from various states, including those governed by the BJP who fear a loss of their fiscal powers.

The BJP aims to address state concerns and implement GST in an "appropriate timeframe". The Congress party would back the reform in opposition, a senior party member told Reuters earlier this month.

The reform needs broad backing because it requires a change in the constitution.

2) RESERVE BANK OF INDIA

A Reserve Bank of India panel in January proposed key changes including targeting consumer price inflation and making a committee responsible for monetary policy, and not the RBI governor alone. This would require changes to the RBI Act.

The BJP top brass has not spoken widely on the issue, but it will likely be a tough sell for RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. He has the backing of some global agencies like the International Monetary Fund.

Modi's government may also look to eventually separate the debt management function from the RBI, on the gounds that debt management sometimes conflicts with the central bank's monetary policy stance.

3) PRIVATISATION

The new government is likely to focus on selling its holdings in state-run firms that could raise much-needed revenues to trim India's ballooning fiscal deficit and boost economic growth.

The rising stock market helped New Delhi raise more than $3 billion via stake sales in the fiscal year to March 31 - but that was only a third of the government's original target.

The outgoing government announced plans to raise 569 billion rupees ($9.62 billion) through asset sales in 2014/15. This could help achieve a lower fiscal deficit target of 4.1 percent of GDP. These estimates may be revised by the next

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