The year 2017 saw some action-packed economic and business events unfolding. The Modi Government, this year too, continued its economic reforms with the implementation of the historic Goods and Service Tax (GST).
The year 2017 saw some action-packed economic and business events unfolding. The Modi Government, this year too, continued its economic reforms with the implementation of the historic Goods and Service Tax (GST). Another key action by the central government was to privatize Air India, which has an outstanding debt of Rs 51,890 crore. The GDP figures also created much noise, from opposition blaming centre’s policy – demonetisation, GST- for an economic slowdown and the government hitting back. However, the year ended at a fairly good note, as the international rating agency Moody’s upgraded India’s sovereign bond rating for the first time in nearly 14 years and the GDP number in the fourth quarter also picked up. The aadhaar card linking scheme of the government was also much among the much-debated topic with many raising concerns regarding the privacy issue. As this year has had a roller-coaster ride, here are the top business and economic news that created big headlines:-
The long-delayed GST Constitution bill was passed by the Parliament in August 2016 and was implemented on from July 1, marking a historic step for tax reforms which Prime Minister Narendra Modi said was “crucial” for ending tax terrorism besides reducing corruption and black money while making the consumer the “king”. The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha in May 2015, was taken up again by the Lower House to approve the changes made in it by the Rajya Sabha.
2- Moody’s Ratings:
US-based Moody’s this year upgraded India’s sovereign credit rating by a notch to ‘Baa2’ with a stable outlook citing improved growth prospects driven by economic and institutional reforms. The rating upgrade came after a gap of 13 years. Moody’s had last upgraded India’s rating to ‘Baa3’ in 2004. In 2015, the rating outlook was changed to ‘positive’ from ‘stable’. The ‘Baa3’ rating was the lowest investment grade – just a notch above ‘junk’ status.
3- Ease of doing business:
India jumped 30 places to rank 100th in the World Bank’s ‘ease of doing business’ ranking, sending the jubilant government to vow to continue reforms that will help the country break into top 50 in coming years. India, which was ranked 142nd when the Narendra Modi government took office in 2014 and 130th last year, is the only large country this year to have achieved such a significant shift on the back of reforms in taxation, construction permits, investor protection and bankruptcy resolution.
4- Aadhaar linking:
The Union government made it mandatory to link the aadhaar card of each individual with various schemes and services such as bank accounts and mobile phone services. Recently, the Supreme Court has extended till March 31 the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes of all ministries and departments of the Centre, states and union territories. However, the last date to link your aadhaar card with mobile phone number remains to be February 6, 2018.
5- Air India:
On June 28 this year, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave its in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment of Air India and its five subsidiaries. An Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, is working on the modalities.