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Small, medium firms were limping back when GST added to pain: Stakeholders (Note Ban Series)

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Small, medium firms were limping back when GST added to pain: Stakeholders (Note Ban Series)

New Delhi, November 3, 2017: The backbone of India’s manufacturing sector — micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) — had not yet recovered from the demonetisation move when the Goods and Services Tax (GST) came in to add to the pain, according to industry stakeholders.

“The base of the MSME pyramid is comprised of informal sector, which has traditionally done business in cash. With withdrawal of cash, this market seized up for a quarter or so. They (MSMEs) are limping back to normality,” Anil Bhardwaj, Secretary General, Federation of Indian Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME), told IANS.

“The recovery is slow because of the new disruption in the form of GST. In the short term, there could be loss of business opportunities because of lack of capital in the informal markets,” he said.

Bhardwaj said that the housing sector, which had more than 60 product categories linked to MSMEs, was drastically hit, both directly and indirectly.

According to D.S. Rawat, Secretary General of Assocham, except for some payment gateways, most of the sectors lost out.

“The impact of demonetisation would have evaporated, but the GST roll-out issues are being braved by some sectors, particularly the SMEs and the traders,” Rawat told IANS.

In the Economic Watch report by Ernst & Young for September 2017, demonetisation has been blamed for an adverse impact on the economy in the short run, as its “benefits are yet to overtake” the costs.

“The government and people at large did have to bear considerable costs in the immediate aftermath of demonetisation. Some of these costs may be difficult to quantify, but objective evidence of the short-term costs is available in at least some important dimensions,” the report said.

“There was an erosion of growth, output and employment,” it added.

The overall economic growth is still contested, however, as some argue that the downward spiral in gross domestic product (GDP) growth preceded demonetisation.

“Though the GDP growth has been lower post the exercise, it will not be fair to conclude that demonetisation was the only factor responsible for this. The growth had started slowing right after the third quarter of 2016-17 and the trend continued post-November as well,” said Ranen Banerjee, Partner-Public Finance, Economics and Urban, at PwC India.

Others like the EY’s report indicate that demonetisation resulted in a “tangible adverse impact” on GDP growth.

“Real GDP growth has been falling steadily quarter after quarter since the fourth quarter of FY16, when it was nine per cent. It fell to 5.7 per cent in first quarter FY18, a decrease of 3.3 percentage points,” the report pointed out.

“The two quarters that can be considered as the demonetisation quarters in FY17 were the third quarter of FY17 and fourth quarter of FY17. In these two quarters, the GDP growth rate fell to seven per cent and 6.1 per cent, respectively.”

It mentioned that the downward trend in growth preceded demonetisation and was largely caused by an investment slowdown.

On the industrial production front, in December 2016, the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had contracted by 0.4 per cent from a 13-month high of 5.7 per cent reported for November.

However, it rose 2.7 per cent in January 2017. The latest IIP figures for August showed that factory output grew 4.3 per cent against the same month last year on the back of robust mining and electricity sector growth.

According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, manufacturing output in the country in July 2017 had grown marginally by 1.2 per cent.

“The event clearly pushed the economy towards a higher degree of digitisation and financial inclusion. Accordingly, the digital finance sector seems to have gotten a push while over the longer term financial services should be the biggest gainer,” said Anis Chakravarty, Lead Economist, Deloitte.

(Rohit Vaid can be reached at rohit.v@ians.in)

(Editors: The above article is part of a series of demonetisation stories leading up to November 8)

–(IANS)

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi Stern On Intensifying India-Korea Economic Relations

India features among the top 10 trade partners of South Korea and is the sixth largest export destination for S Korean goods with the trade volume reaching $21.5 billion in 2018. 

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Noting that this was his third interaction with the Korean business leaders in 12 months, Modi said: "Negotiations to upgrade the comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) have been fast-tracked to achieve the bilateral trade target of $50 billion." Pixabay

Making a call to intensify the India-Korea economic relations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Thursday urged more Korean businesses to turn their attention towards India.

“I wish to see more and more Korean businesses turning their attention to India,” Modi said.

Addressing the India-Korea Business Symposium, Modi who is on a two-day official visit to South Korea, said India has become one of the most open countries for foreign direct investment (FDI), recording $250 billion inflow in the past four years.

India
Highlighting the sound fundamentals and that the Indian economy is on its way to become a $5 trillion economy soon, Modi said no other large economy in the world has grown at 7 per cent year after year.
Pixabay

Noting that this was his third interaction with the Korean business leaders in 12 months, Modi said: “Negotiations to upgrade the comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) have been fast-tracked to achieve the bilateral trade target of $50 billion.”

India features among the top 10 trade partners of South Korea and is the sixth largest export destination for S Korean goods with the trade volume reaching $21.5 billion in 2018.

Money
Trade Groups Claim, American’s Detention Is A Potential Moment For Russia. Pixabay

“Not just trade, in terms of investment also we are seeing a positive turn. Korean investments into India have reached a cumulative figure of almost $6 billion,” the Prime Minister said.

Noting that the South Korean National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) has opened its India office in Bengaluru to facilitate Korean startups in India, the Prime Minister said both the countries have decided to set up a future strategy group (FSG) and a centre for research and innovation cooperation.
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Highlighting the sound fundamentals and that the Indian economy is on its way to become a $5 trillion economy soon, Modi said no other large economy in the world has grown at 7 per cent year after year.

India, he said, has jumped to the 77th spot on the World Bank’s “ease of doing business” rankings on the back of reforms and is determined to break into the top 50 next year. (IANS)