Monday, August 19, 2019

Highlights from the Economic Survey, 2019 & the Union Budget, 2019-20

       Following are some Highlights from the Economic Survey, 2019:
State of the Economy in 2018-19: A Macro View
  • India is still the fastest growing major economy in 2018-19.
·         India needs to grow at 8% per year to be $5 trillion economy by FY25. 
  • Growth of GDP moderated to 6.8 per cent in 2018-19 from 7.2 per cent in 2017-18. Economic Survey predicts 7% growth rate for this fiscal.
  • Inflation contained at 3.4 per cent in 2018-19.
  • Non-Performing Assets as percentage of Gross Advances reduced to 10.1 per cent at end December 2018 from 11.5 per cent at end March 2018.
  • Investment growth recovering since 2017-18: Growth in fixed investment picked up from 8.3 per cent in 2016-17 to 9.3 per cent next year and further to 10.0 per cent in 2018-19.
  • Current account deficit manageable at 2.1 percent of GDP.
  • Fiscal deficit of Central Government declined from 3.5 percent of GDP in 2017-18 to 3.4 percent in 2018-19.
  • Prospects of pickup in growth in 2019-20 on the back of further increase in private investment and acceleration in consumption.
Fiscal Developments
  • FY 2018-19 ended with fiscal deficit at 3.4 per cent of GDP and debt to GDP ratio of 44.5 per cent (Provisional).
  • As per cent of GDP, total Central Government expenditure fell by 0.3 percentage points in 2018-19 PA over 2017-18: 0.4 percentage point reduction in revenue expenditure and 0.1 percentage point increase in capital expenditure.
  • States’ own tax and non-tax revenue displays robust growth in 2017-18 RE and envisaged to be maintained in 2018-19 BE.
  • The revised fiscal glide path envisages achieving fiscal deficit of 3 per cent of GDP by FY 2020-21 and Central Government debt to 40 per cent of GDP by 2024-25.
Money Management and Financial Intermediation
  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code led to recovery and resolution of significant amount of distressed assets and improved business culture. Till March 31, 2019, the CIRP yielded a resolution of 94 cases involving claims worthINR1, 73,359 crore. As on 28 Feb 2019, 6079 cases involving INR2.84 lakh crores have been withdrawn. As per RBI reports, INR50,000 crore received by banks from previously non-performing accounts. Additional INR50,000 crore "upgraded" from non-standard to standard assets.
  • Benchmark policy rate first hiked by 50 bps and later reduced by 75 bps last year.
  • Liquidity conditions remained systematically tight since September 2018 thus impacting the yields on government papers.
  • Financial flows remained constrained because of decline in the equity finance raised from capital markets and stress in the NBFC sector.Capital mobilized through public equity issuance declined by 81 per cent in 2018-19. Credit growth rate y-o-y of the NBFCs declined from 30 per cent in March 2018 to 9 per cent in March 2019.
Prices and Inflation
  • Headline inflation based on CPI-C continuing on its declining trend for fifth straight financial year remained below 4.0 per cent in the last two years.
  • Food inflation based on Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) also continuing on its declining trend for fifth financial year has remained below 2.0 per cent for the last two consecutive years.
  • CPI-C based core inflation (CPI excluding the food and fuel group) has now started declining since March 2019 after increment during FY 2018-19 as compared to FY 2017-18.
  • Miscellaneous, housing and fuel and light groups are the main contributors of headline inflation based on CPI-C during FY 2018-19 and the importance of services in shaping up headline inflation has increased.
  • CPI rural inflation declined during FY 2018-19 over FY 2017-18. However, CPI urban inflation increased marginally during FY 2018-19. Many States witnessed fall in CPI inflation during FY 2018-19.
External Sector
  • As per WTO, World trade growth slowed down to 3 per cent in 2018 from 4.6 per cent in 2017. Reasons: Introduction of new and retaliatory tariff measures; Heightened US-China trade tensions; Weaker global economic growth; Volatility in financial markets.
  • In Indian rupee terms growth rate of exports increased owing to depreciation of the rupee while that of imports declined in 2018-19. 
  • Net capital inflows moderated in April-December of 2018-19 despite robust foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, outweighed by withdrawals under portfolio investment.
  • India’s External Debt was US$ 521.1 billion at end-December 2018, 1.6 per cent lower than its level at end-March 2018.
  • The key external debt indicators reflect that India’s external debt is not unsustainable.
  • The total liabilities-to-GDP ratio, inclusive of both debt and non-debt components, has declined from 43 per cent in 2015 to about 38 per cent at end of 2018.
  • The share of foreign direct investment has risen and that of net portfolio investment fallen in total liabilities, reflecting a transition to more stable sources of funding the current account deficit.
  • The Indian Rupee traded in the range of 65-68 per US$ in 2017-18 but depreciated to a range of 70-74 in 2018-19.
  • The income terms of trade, a metric that measures the purchasing power to import, has been on a rising trend, possibly because the growth of crude prices has still not exceeded the growth of India’s export prices.
  • The exchange rate in 2018-19 has been more volatile than in the previous year, mainly due to volatility in crude prices, but not much due to net portfolio flows.
  • Composition of India’s exports and import basket in 2018-19(P):
    • Exports (including re-exports): INR23, 07,663 Cr.
    • Imports: INR35, 94,373 Cr.
    • Top export items continue to be Petroleum products, precious stones, drug formulations, gold and other precious metals.
    • Top import items continue to be Crude petroleum, pearl, precious, semi-precious stones and gold.
    • India’s main trading partners continue to be the US, China, Hong Kong, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
  • India has signed 28 bilateral / multilateral trade agreements with various country/group of countries. In 2018-19,
    • Exports to these countries stood at US$121.7 billion accounting for 36.9 per cent of India’s total exports.
    • Imports from these countries stood at US$266.9 billion accounting for 52.0 per cent of India’s total imports.

  • Agriculture sector in India typically goes through cyclical movement in terms of its growth.
    • GVA in agriculture improved from a negative 0.2 per cent in 2014-15 to 6.3 per cent in 2016-17 but decelerated to 2.9 per cent in 2018-19.
  • GCF in agriculture as percentage of GVA marginally declined to 15.2 per cent in 2017-18 as compared to 15.6 per cent in 2016-17.
  • The public sector GCF in agriculture as a percentage of GVA increased to 2.7 per cent in 2016-17 from 2.1 per cent in 2013-14.

Industry and Infrastructure
  • Overall Index of Eight Core Industries registered a growth rate of 4.3 percent in 2018-19.
  • Rail freight and passenger traffic grew by 5.33 per cent and 0.64 per cent respectively in 2018-19 as compared to 2017-18.
  • Total telephone connections in India touched 118.34 crore in 2018-19
  • The installed capacity of electricity has increased to 3, 56,100 MW in 2019 from 3, 44,002 MW in 2018.
·         Policy should enable MSMEs to grow, create greater profits for their owners and contribute to job creation and productivity in the economy. 
  • Public Private Partnerships are quintessential for addressing infrastructure gaps.
  • Institutional mechanism is needed to deal with time-bound resolution of disputes in infrastructure sector.
Services Sector
  • Services sector (excluding construction) has a share of 54.3 per cent in India’s GVA and contributed more than half of GVA growth in 2018-19.
  • The services sector growth declined marginally to 7.5 per cent in 2018-19 from 8.1 per cent in 2017-18.
    • Accelerated sub-sectors: Financial services, real estate and professional services.
    • Decelerated sub-sectors: Hotels, transport, communication and broadcasting services.
Following are some Highlights from the Union Budget, 2019-20:

·         Tax rate reduced to 25% for companies with annual turnover up to Rs. 400 crore.
·         To discourage the practice of making business payments in cash the government proposes to levy TDS of 2% on cash withdrawal exceeding Rs 1 crore in a year from a bank account.
·         No change in income tax slabs. However, surcharge has been increased for those earning 2-5 crore and those earning 5 crore and above. The effective tax rate for these categories will increase by around 3% and 7%, respectively. The surcharge increases the effective tax rate for most FPIs, set up as Trusts or AOPs, by almost 7 per cent. 30-40% of about 9,400 FPIs registered in Indiawill be affected.
·         Those who don’t have PAN can file tax returns using Aadhaar. The two are effectively made interchangeable.
·         Additional deduction up to Rs. 1.5 lakh for interest paid on loans borrowed up to 31st March, 2020 for purchase of house valued up to Rs. 45 lakh. Overall benefit of around Rs. 7 lakh over loan period of 15 years. 
·         Listed companies shall also be liable to pay additional tax at 20 percent in case of buyback of shares, as is the case currently for unlisted companies.

Boost to Electric Vehicles
·       Additional income tax deduction of Rs. 1.5 lakh on interest paid on electric vehicle loans.
·       Customs duty exempted on certain parts of electric vehicles. 

Relief for Start-ups
·         Capital gains exemptions from sale of residential house for investment in start-ups extended till FY21. 
·         Angel tax issue resolved as start-ups and investors filing requisite declarations and providing information in their returns not to be subjected to any kind of scrutiny in respect of valuations of share premiums. 
·         Funds raised by start-ups to not require scrutiny from Income Tax Department 
·         E-verification mechanism for establishing identity of the investor and source of funds. 
·          No scrutiny of valuation of shares issued to Category-II Alternative Investment Funds. 
·         Relaxation of conditions for carry forward and set off of losses. 

Securities Transaction Tax (STT)
·         STT restricted only to the difference between settlement and strike price in case of exercise of options. 

Customs Duty
·         Basic Customs Duty increased on cashew kernels, PVC, tiles, auto parts, marble slabs, optical fibre cable, CCTV camera etc. 
· Exemptions from Custom Duty on certain electronic items now manufactured in India withdrawn. 
·         Exemptions from Custom Duty on certain electronic items now manufactured in India withdrawn. 
·         Customs duty reduced on certain raw materials such as: 
o Inputs for artificial kidney and disposable sterilised dialyser and fuels for nuclear power plants etc. 
o Capital goods required for manufacture of specified electronic goods. 
·         Defence equipment not manufactured in India exempted from basic customs duty.
·         Increase in Special Additional Excise Duty and Road and Infrastructure Cess each by Rs. 1 per litre on petrol and diesel.
·         Custom duty on gold and other precious metals increased. 

           Banking and Finance

·         Rs. 70,000 crore proposed to be provided to PSBs to boost credit. 
·         For buying “high-rated pooled assets of financially sound NBFCs” that amounts to Rs 1 lakh crore in FY20, the government will offer partial credit guarantee to PSBs, of six months for one time for first loss of up to 10 per cent.
·         Repealing of creating a debenture redemption reserve (DRR) for NBFCs to raise capital in public issues.
·         Interest income on bad or doubtful debts made by NBFCs to be taxed on receipt basis instead of accrual basis to provide a level playing field to NBFCs since for scheduled banks, public financial institutions, state financial corporations, state industrial investment corporations, etc., interest on bad or doubtful debts is charged to tax on receipt basis.
·         Rs 350 crore earmarked by the government for interest subvention of GST-registered MSMEs for fresh and incremental loans.
·         The Finance Minister also proposed bringing the housing finance companies (HFCs) directly under the RBI to strengthen the central bank’s regulatory authority over all NBFCs. Currently, HFCs are regulated by the National Housing Bank, an RBI subsidiary. 
·         Speed up the enactment of appropriate legislations to create an International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) authority. IFSC enables bringing back the financial services and transactions that are currently carried out in offshore financial centers by Indian corporate entities and overseas branches and subsidiaries of financial institutions (FIs) to India The government proposed to provide several direct tax incentives to an IFSC. This would include 100 % profit-linked deduction under section 80-LA in any ten-year block within a fifteen-year period, exemption from dividend distribution tax from current and accumulated income to companies and mutual funds,exemptions on capital gain to Category-III AIF and interest payment on loan taken from non-residents.
·         To reduce the Net-owned fund Requirement from Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 1,000 crore for foreign re-insurers.
·         The government is setting an enhanced target of Rs 1,05,000 crore for disinvestment during FY20 and will continue with disinvestment of PSUs in the non-financial space as well.
·         Government to reinitiate the process of strategic disinvestment of Air India, and to offer more CPSEs for strategic participation by the private sector.

             Social and Rural Sectors
·         To streamline multiple labour laws into a set of four labour codes.
·         To expand self help groups to all districts; one woman in every SHG to get loan upto Rs 1 lakh under Mudra Yojana.
·         Pension benefits will be offered to 3 crore shopowners with annual turnover of less than Rs 1.5 crore.
·         Scheme of Fund for Upgradation and Regeneration of Traditional Industries. (SFURTI)
·         Common Facility Centres (CFCs) to be setup to facilitate cluster based development for making traditional industries more productive, profitable and capable for generating sustained employment opportunities.
·         100 new clusters to be setup during 2019-20 with special focus on Bamboo, Honey and Khadi, enabling 50,000 artisans to join the economic value chain.
·         10,000 new Farmer Producer Organizations to be formed, to ensure economies of scale for farmers.
·         Government to work with State Governments to allow farmers to benefit from e-NAM.
Zero Budget Farming in few states where farmers are already being trained to be replicated in other states.

No comments: