Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to build 100 “smart cities” by 2022 to decongest existing urban centres probably will take longer to achieve. Reuters visited the foundations of one of these cities in Gujarat, a finance centre called Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT).
India has ordered 36 “ready-to-fly” French-made Rafale fighter jets to modernise the country’s ageing warplane fleet. But Bharat Karnad, a research professor at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) in New Delhi, said the deal with French manufacturer Dassault Aviation is a disaster that will not meet the immediate needs of India’s air force.
The Reserve Bank of India kept interest rates unchanged in its bi-monthly review on Tuesday, waiting to assess inflationary pressures and giving banks time to reflect on the central bank’s previous cuts in lending rates.
Jim O’Neill, who coined the term BRICs to highlight emerging economic powerhouses Brazil, Russia, India and China, said India’s budget lacked a “wow” factor but was good enough to push the country on a path of 8 percent growth or more “for a long time”.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has the tough task of balancing the need to boost spending and maintaining fiscal discipline when he presents the annual budget on Feb. 28. Former Infosys CFO V. Balakrishnan says the government’s main priority should be to revive the economy by loosening up its purse strings and the country could live with a “slightly higher fiscal deficit.”
The upcoming budget is expected to give a boost to the government’s “Make in India” campaign, the centrepiece of PM Narendra Modi’s plan to create jobs and rejuvenate the economy. But Rajeev Karwal, founder of technology and consulting firm Milagrow, says the “ecosystem” to transform India into a manufacturing hub does not exist because of an absence of government support and incentives.
The countdown has begun for the biggest business and economic event of the year – the release of India’s annual budget on February 28. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is under pressure to unveil reforms that will put the country’s economy on a path of 7-8 percent growth over the next two years.
Nissan Motor Co Ltd hopes to boost its low-cost Datsun car brand in India with a new compact multi-purpose vehicle, or MPV, but the Japanese automaker might need to make inroads into smaller cities and the countryside if it wants to revive sales.
India’s film censor board chief Leela Samson quit her post on Friday after a government tribunal reversed the board’s decision to prevent the release of a film about a Sikh religious leader for portraying him as a god, which they fear could offend other Sikhs.