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Economy and Business

India’s economy continues to decelerate with the government’s estimatefor first-quarter gross domestic product pegging growth at a 13-quarter low of 5.7% in April-June. The reasons for the protracted slowdown — a slide of five straight quarters from 9.1% in March 2016 — are many and varied.

 

Is there a limit to how much reform an economy can take? The June quarter GDP figures have surprised many by registering 5.7%, the lowest growth rate since Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected.

 

One of the enduring mysteries of the demonetisation exercise ended when Reserve Bank of India released its annual report on Wednesday, which said that about 99% of high value notes that were stripped of legal tender status on November 8 had been returned to the banking system.

 

Last year, after the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking placed India at a lowly 130 out of 150 countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked bureaucrats to explain the reasons for the country’s poor performance and directed them to work on improving the ranking.

 

On August 18, Infosys Ltd CEO Vishal Sikka abruptly resigned. The board of Infosys released a letter blaming founder and former chairman NR Narayana Murthy for Sikka’s exit.

 

Flipkart’s announcement that SoftBank Vision Fund, a private equity fund backed by Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, would take a stake in the company has energised India’s e-commerce space.

 

The Reserve Bank of India’s recent decision to lower the repo rate was a move in the right direction, but I am of the view that it was not strong enough.

 

Now that the dust is beginning to settle from the political situation created by the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif, and work resumes after Independence Day celebrations, it is time to once again focus on the gaping deficits that plague the economy.

 

The order of the Securities and Exchange Board of India imposing trading restrictions on 331 companies suspected of being shell entities is an example of rash regulatory action.

 

India is now grappling with a balance sheet recession that has perhaps put the economy close to deflation.

 


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