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IMF predicts 7.5 per cent growth rate for India in 2016

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Washington: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that India’s growth is expected to strengthen from 7.3 per cent this year and last year to 7.5 per cent next year.

“Growth will benefit from recent policy reforms, a consequent pickup in investment, and lower commodity prices,” the IMF said in latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) released on Tuesday ahead of the World Bank-IMF annual meetings in Lima (Peru).

The WEO foresees lower global growth rate compared to last year, with modest pickup in advanced economies and a slowing in emerging markets, primarily reflecting weakness in some large emerging economies and oil exporting countries.

Global real GDP grew at 3.4 per cent last year, and is forecast to grow at only 3.1 per cent this year. Growth is expected to rebound to 3.6 per cent next year and increase beyond 2016.

One of the key factors in this is the gradual increase in the global weight of fast-growing countries such as China and India, which further increases their importance as drivers of global growth, the WEO said.

In India, near-term growth prospects remain favorable, and the decrease in the current account deficit has lowered external vulnerabilities, it said.

Inflation is expected to decline further in 2015, reflecting the fall in global oil and agricultural commodity prices.

The faster-than expected decline in inflation has created space for considering modest cuts in the nominal policy rate, IMF said.

But the real policy rate needs to remain tight for inflation to decline to the inflation target in the medium term, given upside risks to inflation, it said.

Continued fiscal consolidation is also essential, but it should be more growth friendly, WEO said suggesting tax reform and reduction in subsidies.

With balance sheet strains in the corporate and banking sectors, financial sector regulation should be enhanced, provisioning increased, and debt recovery strengthened, it suggested.

Structural reforms should focus on relaxing long-standing supply constraints in the energy, mining, and power sectors, WEO said.

Priorities include market-based pricing of natural resources to boost investment, addressing delays in the implementation of infrastructure projects, and improving policy frameworks in the power and mining sectors.

In advanced economies, growth is expected to remain robust and above trend through 2016 and contribute to narrowing the output gap.

The growth recovery in the euro area is projected to be broad-based. Growth prospects in emerging markets and developing economies vary across countries and regions.

But the outlook in 2015 is generally weakening, with growth for these economies as a group projected to decline from 4.6 per cent in 2014 to 4 per cent in 2015.

The WEO underscores that raising actual and potential output must remain the policy priority. This will require a combination of demand support and structural reforms, it said.

(Arun Kumar, IANS)

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Top 10 startups funded by celebrities

The buzzword of Indian economy 'Startup' gaining the attention of celebrities

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Funds Ziddu. Wikimedia commons
Funds Ziddu. Wikimedia commons

Recently celebrities have been ready to invest in valuable startups. India has become one of the fastest growing startup ecosystems in the world, hence many celebrities seem to have growing business interests.

Here is the list of top 10 celebrities which are funding some major startups.

You may also like: Startup and a more competitive India

1. Ziddu funded by Amitabh Bachchan

Funds grouphomebuyers.com Wikimedia commons
Funds grouphomebuyers.com Wikimedia Commons

The actor decided to invest $250,000 in a startup based in Singapore, in 2015. Ziddu, a cloud service provider, was founded by Venkata Srinivas Meenavalli. It is run by Meridian Tech, and also offers free file hosting for documents, pictures, video, and audio.

2. Grouphomebuyers.com funded by Shilpa Shetty

A site which has a listing of new and upcoming residential projects from top cities. Shilpa Shetty is the co-founder of this website which has helped 200 families get properties at discounted prices.

3. Pulse funded by Chetan Bhagat

This new age photo-sharing mobile app was founded by Karthik Vaidyanath and Prakhar Khanduja. This app has a combo of articles and user-generated content. It is a bit like Snapchat, but one major difference is that you cannot take screenshots of this one. Many prominent people have participated in its funding, one name is Chetan Bhagat.

4. Healthians funded by Yuvraj Singh

One of the many startups that Singh has invested in, is Healthians. It is a home service health test platform that operated in NCR. It is now launched in Mumbai and Bangalore too.

Funds Qyuki. Wikimedia commons
Funds Qyuki. Wikimedia Commons

5. Qyuki funded by A.R. Rahman and Shekhar Kapur

They both joined hands in 2012 to launch a social media platform. Qyuki aims to engage Indian youth to new media content. It was built on Cisco’s cloud infrastructure and had received an investment from it too.

Read more: Bollywood celebs security trimmed

6. Yatra funded by Salman Khan

All of us know about Being Human. However, what we don’t know is that Salman Khan has a 5% stake in Yatra.com. He is also the brand ambassador for the company.

7. HealthEminds funded by Robin Uthappa

It was in March 2016 that Uthappa invested an undisclosed amount in HeathEMinds. The startup aims at helping people to deal with mental stress and depression. It was started in 2013, the startup offers video counselling without disclosing the identity of the caller.

Funds Muvizz. Wikimedia Commons

8. Muvizz funded by Manoj Bajpayee

Muvizz was founded by Bajpayee’s friends Abhayanand Singh and Piyush Singh. This startup offers cult, classic and independent films to lovers of cinema around the world. It is a Video-On-Demand platform.

9. GOQii funded by Madhuri Dixit

This startup designs wearable fitness bands, it also provides fitness training. Madhuri started out as an investor with GOQii founded by Vishal Gondal. Dr. Sriram Nene, Dixit’s husband, is the CMO of the company.

10. Indi funded by Anil Kapoor

It is video social network founded by Neel Grover which was launched in 2012. Kapoor invested an undisclosed amount in the startup.