DECEMBER 10, 2018
The growth in the economy and present condition ofprosperity in India are very significant compared to itsposition in the last century.
Amendments to present finance policies will remove the envisioned instability and complexity existing in its projected growth.
Application of recommended policy issues is essential to stabilize the prosperity of India.
India has implemented several policies for its economic growth. The reported GDP has brought up the country as economically powerful in comparison with leading countries of the world. However, the projection of its growth has to be substantiated with stability. India needs to concentrate on its foundational values of democracy and focus to solve the complexity of the prevalent capitalism, in order to sustain the growth, and stay in the same position, and avoid the downward sliding noticed recently.
Beginning in financial year 2003-04, the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country grew at the annual rate of 8.2%. The financial year in India, begins on1st April and ends on 31st March. India has switched over to the practice of reporting GDP at market prices, as its official GDP, as recommended by the United Nations System of National Accounts. The reported GDP has brought up the country as economically powerful in comparison with leading countries of the world. However, the projection of its growth has to be substantiated with stability. This paper proposes policy recommendations for the government of India, not only to concentrate on its foundational values of democracy, but more importantly, to solve the complexity of the prevalent capitalism, in order to sustain the growth, and stay in the same position, and avoid the downward sliding noticed recently.
Basic definition of a stable economy
There are a number of different factors that affect the economic stability of a country, such as development of technology, human capital, levels of infrastructure, geographical location, weather, political instability and commodity prices. Basically, the economic growth of any country defines the annual percentage increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Now, the countries that are poised to experience the most economic growth in the near future aren’t necessarily the most stable, but they do pose the greatest hope for future economic stability compared to countries that are not growing by as much
Refer the attached Chart-1 for example. The most stable economies in the next decade or so, will be in South-East Asia. A trade deal was signed between Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) in an attempt to decrease reliance on US manufacturing and inspire growth in their own regions. This is why India and China lead the list for 2017 global growth forecast. When looking at this graph, note that a trade agreement does not guarantee economic stability. India, China, and Indonesia are experiencing high economic growth because they have capitalized on new technology, invested in infrastructure, secured a reliable political and educational foundation, as well as paved the way for transportation routes that will span Asia, making exports to Europe more efficient. We can expect to see growth continue in these regions and furthermore, a period of South-Eastern Economic stability.
Foreign and Domestic Policies-the major reforms employed.
The changes in Foreign Policy included opening the economy to foreign trade and investment; full current-account convertibility of the rupee meaning foreign exchange for imports of goods and services was made freely available; substantial liberalization of the capital account meaning that foreign investors could invest in India through a variety of instruments and Indian investors could borrow funds abroad more freely and end to investment licensing.
The Domestic Policy included the following areas of reforms and resulted in keeping up the GDP at 7.5% 1. Tackling Retrospective Taxation 2. Ending Bureaucratic Paralysis 3. Ease of Doing Business 4. FDI Liberalization 5. Closure and Privatization of Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) 6. Exit Policy 7. Direct and indirect Tax Reform 8. Reduction in Petroleum Subsidies 9. Direct benefit transfer using Aadhaar-based Verification and 10. Cooperative, Competitive Federalism
India’s diverse economy also encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and a multitude of services. Services account for nearly two-thirds of India’s output but employ less than one-third of its labor force. India has capitalized on its large, educated English-speaking population to become a major exporter of information technology services, business outsourcing services, and software workers.
India’s economic freedom score is 54.5, making its economy the 130th freest in the 2018 Index. Its overall score has increased by 1.9 points, led by improvements in judicial effectiveness,
business freedom, government integrity, and fiscal health. India is ranked 30th among 43 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is below the regional and world averages. India boasts now the world’s fastest growing economy with reported growth of 7.7% in fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017 and 6.7% annual growth projected for 2018. India has improved from a score of 45.1 to 54.5 in the Index of Economic Freedom and still ranks 130th out of 180 countries. There are now two related questions: “Will India’s growth spurt continue?” and “Has India established a framework to sustain economic
The management of Economy
India’s GDP growth continues to be powered by consumption, not investments. A question is being raised about the GDP estimates (8.2%) for the first quarter of this year (April-June 2018). These include the depreciating rupee, rising bank bad loans, or non-performing assets (NPAs), a trade deficit that has shot up to a five-year high, and retail fuel prices that are inching up every day. The full picture emerges from sectoral estimates, which show that while some parts of the economy grew faster, a few others did not. Agricultural GDP growth quickened as two successive years of good rains improved farm produce. Manufacturing and construction, both industries that were dealt a severe shock by demonetization, recovered, as the cash shortage moderated.
Services growth slowed. Industries such as trade, hotels and transport, and the financial, real estate and professional services fall in this segment, as do public administration and defense services. Services growth is relatively more representative of the economic sentiment of the vocal among urban and semi-urban Indians. The strong sustained growth suggests that a consumption boom is in the making. Consumer industries are also reporting robust rural sales growth. Pockets of the rural economy — land-owning large farmers, for instance — appear flush with disposable income.
Aided by consumption:
The cause for caution is that the GDP growth continues to be powered by consumption, not investments. Consumption-led growth is sustainable up to a point, especially if it is financed by expanding the government (Centre plus States’ cumulative fiscal) deficit.
A recapitalization of banks was undertaken. It has not measured up to the problem. The insolvency mechanism has just about started functioning after dithering and delays. The government, in spite of its majority in Parliament, has made little progress in reforming public sector banks. With the government upbeat over the 8.2% growth, the risk is that in all the excitement, the message from the quarterly estimates (on the sustainable drivers of growth) might be lost.
Why should there be amendments to the present reforms?
Productivity growth is set to slow from what many observers consider an overheated pace. India’s growth trajectory will continue, but at a slower, albeit more sustainable rate of about 6.5 percent annually through 2024, about a percentage point below its 2004-2014 pace. Although productivity growth in India will slow (as in the rest of the world), hours worked will continue to climb at a significantly faster rate than elsewhere as India finds jobs for its youthful populace. Investment in India has reached a plateau.
India’s downside risks include the failure to restore fiscal balance and maintain control of inflation. Reasons for optimism include serious labor market reforms under discussion and possible acceleration of India into the global economy. Dale Jorgenson,  former head of the economics department at Harvard University, finds some of what is holding back the Indian economy. India is more effectively engaged in international trade and speed its integration into the global-market.
The 2018 Index of Economic Freedom gave India a score of just 72.4 out of 100 on trade freedom, because of trade barriers such as import licensing, require companies to seek to do business there to endure a lengthy, tedious, unnecessarily detailed process just to be approved. Then, once approved, they face more regulations on the type and number of goods imported, especially in technology and vehicles.
Foreign companies that offer services such as banking, insurance, and construction also are strictly regulated. India’s government owns a large portion of the banking and insurance services and severely limits foreign competitors. In some cases, such as legal services, it prohibits foreign involvement entirely.
India also unduly restricts foreign direct investment in the economy. Its score of 40 out of 100 in the Investment Freedom area of the Index of Economic Freedom is nearly 20 points below the world average. This resistance to international investment reduces growth, keeps government and investors tethered in a way that promotes cronyism, and prevents competition and diversification of investment dollars that would add even more growth to the economy.
Foreign direct investment would also reduce the effects of government corruption on the market, and increase stability and predictability in investments. Essentially, foreign investments would allow money to go to the best, most stable businesses rather than those favored by the government, which would go a long way toward improving economic freedom.
Private investment by Indian businesses must also increase if India is to continue to grow. According to The World Bank, the policy uncertainty associated with this relationship discourages investors. As Rafeeque Ahmed, who owns a shoe factory, told The Wall Street Journal, “We are afraid to invest because the government could suddenly change policies and thus our costs.”
India also scores nearly 20 points below the world average when it comes to labor freedom. The chief contributor to such a low score is job protection laws that prevent companies from firing employees. India’s economic growth in the first quarter set a world-leading pace, but it will not last unless the deeper economic problems are addressed and stable and sustainable economic growth is secured. India can enjoy pace-setting growth for the long run, but only if it embraces economic freedom by getting its government out of the way, and allowing business owners and workers to make economic decisions for themselves.
Any restriction imposed on the free flow of trade is a trade barrier. Trade barriers can either be tariff barriers (the levy of ordinary negotiated customs duties in accordance with Article II of the GATT) or non-tariff barriers, which are any trade barriers other than tariff barriers.
One of the most common non-tariff barriers is the prohibition or restrictions on imports maintained through import licensing requirements. Though India has eliminated its import licensing requirements for most consumer goods, certain products face licensing related trade barriers. United States has actively sought bilateral and multilateral opportunities to open India’s market, and the government of India has pursued ongoing economic reform efforts. Nevertheless, U.S. exporters continue to encounter tariff and nontariff barriers that impede imports of U.S. products into India.
Standards, testing, labeling & certification
The Indian government has identified 109 commodities that must be certified by its National Standards body, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). Another agency, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 as a statutory body for laying down standards for articles of food and regulating manufacturing, processing, distribution, sale and import of food. The idea behind these certifications is to ensure the quality of goods seeking access into the market, but many countries use them as protectionist measures.
Anti-dumping and countervailing measures
Anti-dumping and countervailing measures are permitted by the WTO Agreements in specified situations to protect the domestic industry from serious injury arising from dumped or subsidized imports. India imposes these from time-to-time to protect domestic manufacturers from dumping. India’s implementation of its antidumping policy has, in some cases, raised concerns regarding transparency and due process. In recent years, India seems to have aggressively increased its application of the antidumping law.
Export subsidies and domestic support
Several export subsidies and other domestic support is provided to several industries to make them competitive internationally.
In 2017, India graduated from Annex VII of the WTO’s Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement. Consequently, it should now eliminate all its export subsidies in all sectors of its economy without exception. Despite its graduation from Annex VII, India has not publicly articulated a timeline for elimination of any export subsidy programs.
The Indian government allows a price preference for local suppliers in government contracts and generally discriminates against foreign suppliers. In international purchases and International Competitive Bids (ICB’s), domestic companies get a price preference in government contract and purchases. India lacks an overarching government procurement policy and, as a result, its government procurement practices and procedures vary among the states, between the states and the central government, and among different ministries within the central government.
Services in which there are restrictions include: insurance, banking, securities, motion pictures, accounting, construction, architecture and engineering, retailing, legal services, express delivery services and telecommunication. The Indian government has a strong ownership presence in major services industries such as banking and insurance. Foreign investment in businesses in certain major services sectors, including financial services and retail, is subject to limitations on foreign equity. Foreign participation in professional services is significantly restricted, and in the case of legal services, prohibited entirely.
Equity restrictions and other trade-related investment measures are perceived give an unfair advantage to domestic companies. The GOI ( Government of India ) continues to limit or prohibit FDI in sensitive sectors such as retail trade and agriculture. In response to pressure from local stakeholders, India has steadily increased export duties on iron ore and its derivatives. India’s export duties impact international markets for raw materials used in steel production. Lack of transparency with respect to new and proposed laws and regulations affecting traders remains a problem due to a lack of uniform notice and comment procedures and inconsistent notification of these measures to the WTO. This in turn inhibits the ability of traders and foreign governments to provide input on new proposals or to adjust to new requirements. The United States continues to raise concerns regarding uniform notice and comment procedures with the government of India both bi-laterally in the Trade Policy Forum (TPF) and multi-laterally in the WTO and other fora.
On GDP growth
A depreciating rupee will inflate retail fuel prices, unless the Central and State governments cut the taxes on them. But tax cuts will increase the fiscal deficit. The Reserve Bank of India can hike interest rates to arrest the rupee’s depreciation. But that will further increase the cost of borrowing, including the government’s debt. As of now, there are no signs that the full-year growth will beat the forecasts, most of which are about 7.4%.
Bible Principles for Economy stability
Political Principles Derived from Man’s (and Woman’s) Divinely Created State
1.Birthright of Liberty: The Genesis account of man’s creation as an individual male and female, made in God’s image, and therefore endowed with attributes and rights, is attested to and confirmed by the common law and the law of nature.
2.Equality and Equity under Law
The omnipotent, glorious, and wise God, creating man for his own praise; made him more glorious then all the rest of his Creatures that he placed upon earth: creating him in his own Image, (which principally consisted in his reason and understanding) and made him Lord over the earth, and all the things therein contained, Gen 1. 26-29, and chap. 5.1. and 9.6. , 1Cor. 11.7., Col.3. 10; But made him not Lord, or gave him dominion over the individuals of Mankind, no further then by free consent, or agreement, by giving up their power, each to other, for their better being; so that originally, he gave no Lordship, nor Sovereignty, to any of Adams Posterity, by Will, and Prerogative, to rule over his Brethern-Men, but engraved by nature in the soul of Man, this golden and everlasting principle, to do to another, as he would have another to do to him; but man by his transgression,
3.Natural Rights: Birthright of Liberty
….. “by nature, we are the sons of Adam, and from him have legitimately derived a natural propriety, right and freedom. The Fall never alienated man from these rights, or the innate power and authority to protect them.
4.Ecclesiastical Polity to Civil Polity: Consent and Delegation
All men have been made in God’s image, and thus should reap the benefits of natural rights. One could not be ‘put out’ of a political community for being a sinner, as they would be from a church.
5.Political Supremacy of the People: Consent and Delegation neither you nor none else can have any into power at all to conclude the People in matters that concern the Worship of God, for therein every one of us ought to be fully assured in our own minds, and to be sure to Worship him according to our Consciences.”
6.Liberty of Conscience: Separation of Church and State
Popular prerogative was to prevail over kingly, and the people could only part with their authority via consent and delegation. Their other key political pillars, largely reasoned from the created nature of mankind, are limited government, liberty of conscience, separation of civil powers, separation between church and state, popular sovereignty and consent, as well as unalienable rights and reserved powers. Each was conducive to achieving liberty, the greatest political good, and not economic or social levelling as some characterized their programm.
The reading of James’s admonition in chapters 1:22-27 is a unique extension of religious service to incorporate commonwealth as well as community. Christianity is a practical and relational religion which consists not only of moral duties to care for the economic welfare of one’s neighbor, but the liberty-welfare of one’s neighbor and country too! As for their application of the ‘golden rule,’ what better service can there be than to craft a commonwealth to promote and protect liberty as opposed to tyranny? This was an expression of neighborly love!
“Today, in the capitalist countries, there is (should be) relatively little difference between the basic life of the so-called higher and lower classes; both have food, clothing, and shelter”.
India is a capitalist country. There is vast difference between the basic life of the so-called higher and lower classes.
Pre-reformation roots of the protestant ethic: Evidence of a nine centuries-old belief in the virtues of hard work stimulating economic growth
Examples of the interaction of religious influence and economic performance have occurred throughout history, most notable Weber’s argument of the ‘Protestant ethic’. One of the most enduring debates in social science concerns the role of religion in society. For economists, however, it is the relationship between religion and economic performance that is of prime concern, and arguments have been made both for and against different religions and their negative or positive contribution to comparative economic development.
The most famous work on how religion might impact on economic growth came from Max Weber (1958), who argued for the idea of a ‘Protestant ethic’. Observing that the predominantly Protestant north of Europe was richer than the predominantly Catholic south, Weber hypothesized that this could be traced back to Protestantism’s promotion of the virtues of hard work and thrift. Nevertheless, a religion or religious order promoting hard work and thrift could surely have an impact on economic development through cultural change, and our paper (Andersen et al. 2017) argues that such influence was indeed exerted by the Catholic Order of the Cistercians, which spread around Europe from the 11th century.
- Create a national market for goods and services. India currently is a loose affiliation of states with a tax system that discourages commerce across state borders. India is already on the road to developing a single marketplace. Pending legislation regarding a national goods and services tax, could go a long way to creating a market that would be among the largest in the world.
- Privatize public enterprises and deregulate industries to enhance competition.
- Reform monetary policy and the regulation of financial services. Contrary to the present Prime Minister’s move to have the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under political control, RBI should be more independent.
- Reduce the elaborate system of employment protections to encourage job creation. Efficient labor markets will be essential for realizing the benefits of favorable developments in India’s demography.
Foreign Policy-Not to ignore and become independent
Despite setting lofty targets, bilateral trade between India and China has remained relatively stagnant over the last five years. Trade in goods only grew by 7% from around $67 billion in 2012 to $71 billion in 2016 (compared with a 30% increase from 2008 to 2012). The aggregate statistics however hide a glaring difference in the relative economic importance of the two countries to each other. While China is India’s top trading partner in goods (the US is top for goods and services), India ranks only twelfth for the Chinese. Recent trade with Russia on arms’ deal and impose of oil from Iran without the consent of U.S. may have its effects. India has to safeguard its relationships with its foreign policies.
The lopsided economic growth in India-Capitalism vs poverty
Harvard Economics review: The contradiction of high growth rates of GDP on the one hand, and lopsided welfare outcomes and income disparities for the bulk of the population on the other projects unevenness. 90 percent of the workforce employed in the informal sector without access to employment securities. 350 million people still under poverty line, with abysmally low growth of wages for most people and the depressing outlook of income distribution. High GDP growth rates have done little to improve living standards of rural India. Economists agree that development is not merely the enhancement of inanimate objects of convenience such as growth in the arithmetic GDP, or the rise of cutting-edge sectors such as information technology; in fact, these are two arenas in which India does rather well. Development is, ultimately, looking into crucial social indicators of development such as longevity, health care, literacy, educational attainment, child undernourishment, infant mortality, schooling, social status, immunization, and sanitation. They are disappointing if we compare them to the tigers of East Asia or even some of the faster-growing Latin American countries such as Brazil and Mexico. This uneven development is due to corruption and lack of accountability of state incumbents in India. Public services crucial to improving social indices of economic development such as access to education, sanitation, heath care and food support are provided by state, and quasi-state agencies, and for adequate delivery, their functionaries must hew to some baseline level of bureaucratic integrity: being accountable in their handling and delivering the resources at their disposal. And the Indian state notoriously fails to meet these tests, where the state has become, in Bardhan’s terms, a “patron-client regime fostered by a flabby and heterogeneous dominant coalition preoccupied in a spree of anarchical grabbing of public resources tends to choke off efficient management and utilization of capital in the public sector.”
The most pressing issue with respect to economic development in India is its marked unevenness, both in the narrow sense of income distribution and also the broad developmental and distributive outcomes. Which is to say, high GDP growth rates have failed to translate themselves into increases in the wages and earnings of the workforce, and subsequently, higher living standards for the bulk of the population. Concomitant with India respectable GDP growth rates over the past two decades, there has been a major and persistent slowdown in the growth of real agricultural wages in the post-reform era: The growth of real wages in the manufacturing sector has also been relatively slow; not just for ‘unskilled’ laborers, but also for skilled industrial workers. Clearly the growth rate of real wages in India has been much lower than that of per capita GDP over the past two decades. Per capita expenditure, too, has been excruciatingly slow, barely altering the abysmal living conditions for the bulk of the population. Adding to the sense of drama is the widespread undernourishment in general and child under nutrition in particular—India is among the world’s worst performers in this respect (even compared with many countries that are considerably poorer in terms of real GDP per head). And there is also the continuing scandal of a quarter of the population (including nearly half the women) remaining effectively illiterate in a country with such high-tech achievements in education based on excellent specialized training and practice.
These depressing facts may surprise some of those who are used to looking at official poverty estimates to assess development indices and how poor people are doing in India. There is growing evidence that a good deal of the growth in services has been heavily concentrated in skill-intensive sectors (such as software development, financial services and other specialized work); and not in productive and labor-intensive industrial and manufacturing sector.
GDP -true evaluation
Gross domestic product (GDP) is increasingly a poor measure of prosperity. It is not even a reliable gauge of production. Measuring GDP requires adding up the value of what is produced, net of inputs, across a wide variety of business lines, weighting each according to its importance in the economy. Modern definition of GDP is the sum of private consumption and investment and government spending (with account taken for foreign trade).
Protection to lives, liberty and properties
India’s health care crisis is no less serious than its education crisis or public services crisis. A majority of Indians, who are also poor, lack access to public health facilities and instead must rely on private doctors and health care clinics, which are not only expensive but are also
prone to practicing bad medicine.
Problem of inequality and poverty facing the voiceless masses
Democracy has to be an instrument for enhancing the quality of social and economic well-being of a society, and, in particular, for removing injustices and social inequalities and bring in effective methods of addressing inequalities, non-corruptive bureaucracy and business elite, freedom for the news media, and ethical norms expressed in India’s religious and cultural history. It has not taken very long for India’s democratic apparatus to be subverted by a politics that caters to those with vested interests. It has given rise to vote buying through patronage. Allegiance has overwhelmed the citizenry at the expense of deliberation. India’s civil service—based on historical traditions of the British Raj—is in theory comprised of the best and the brightest of India’s intellectual and professional cadre. Now that politicians come and go through election cycles, senior bureaucrats effectively administer government policy. This has increased bureau-crats’ opportunities and expectations to extract personal financial gains in exchange for contracts and licenses to the favored few. In other words, crony capitalism in India has become the norm rather than exception. This should be stopped!
Fair electoral/voting systems-policy recommendations to Parliamentarians
First, India should consider term limits for its elected representatives and thereby deny them the opportunity to perpetuate their political patronage; similarly, officials should be banned from holding electoral office if they are convicted of specified crimes.
Second, Indian civil servants should face a mandatory five-year performance review, which would be based on outcome-specific performance standards, would be undertaken by an independent group of experts outside the influence of bureaucrats, and would be documented in reports that are made public. Currently, senior bureaucrats have effective job tenure, which is further strengthened by their knowledge of administrative processes and their obsequious-ness to venal political leaders. This system must end.
Third, corrupt corporations and their executives should not only face penalties for past indiscretions but also be restricted from future business opportunities. Emphasis could thereby be placed on deterring future misconduct within the business community rather than merely paying for past sins.
Policy recommendation to Modi administration
Modi is highly influential in bringing in Foreign investments to India and has shown substantial growth during the past four years. GDP valued on investments is not the true representation. Modi administration has favored select corporate houses for macro-industrial programs/projects, shown partiality in licensing, taken independent actions ignoring U.S administration in foreign policies and been supportive of persecutions on minority religious sects. Interstate and federal-state relationships too have favoritism. These personalized actions are to be changed and should be adhering to founding father’s (Mahatma Gandhi) principles on equality, liberty and uplifting of the rural poor for economic stability.
While India is poised to be the leading country in its economy, being an influential country with its large population and democracy, sustaining the stability of its growth is very essential.
Major reforms are excellent but maintaining uniformity in all aspects within the country is essential, and hence the policy recommendations made to Modi Government are constructive for growth and stability. They are to be implemented immediately.
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