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No beating about the bush.
The NCAER-MasterCard Worldwide Index of Business Confidence survey was conducted amid growing consensus that India had emerged rather quickly from the effects of the global crisis
Business confidence levels in India have exceeded the October 2009 levels by 7%, according to the latest National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER)-MasterCard Worldwide Index of Business Confidence. The current Business Confidence Index (BCI) rating of 153.8 points, compared to the October 2009 rating of 143.7 points and July 2009 rating of 118.6 points, is also the highest rating recorded since January 2008 (154 points), it said in a release.
“The latest NCAER-MasterCard Worldwide Index of Business Confidence study has captured the upbeat economic climate in India, which is now almost close to the positive ratings during early 2008," said TV Seshadri, vice president and country general manager, South Asia, MasterCard Worldwide.
He said that the survey was conducted amid growing consensus that India had emerged rather quickly from the effects of the global crisis. Being a quarterly study, the BCI provides stakeholders with valuable insights on business expectation, political confidence and trends across the four regions in India.
The Index is based on a survey which measures business confidence on four indicators relating to ‘Overall economic conditions six months from now’, ‘Financial position of the firm six months from now’, ‘Investment climate’ and ‘Level of capacity utilisation’. All four indicators carry equal weight.
The improvement in business sentiment based on the four components has been observed across all regions in India except in the East, where it fell by a relatively small 2.9 points or 1.82%, compared to the previous quarter.
Amongst all four regions, the West had a maximum proportion of respondents providing positive feedback for the ‘Overall economic conditions’ indicator, revealing an optimism about an improvement in the overall economic conditions and investment climate over the next six months. The West showed the highest increase (13.84%), followed by the North (7.4%) and the South (6.65%).
The Political Confidence Index (PCI) in the current round witnessed a 16.5% decline compared to a 4% decline in October 2009. This could indicate a weak correlation between the BCI and the PCI. There was a significant drop in PCI from 144.4 points in October 2009 to 120.6 points in the current round, the survey said.
The current survey reflected a declining trend in the ratings of all eight components of the PCI over the last quarter. Four components that showed steep decline include, managing of government finance (52.1 to 43.1 points), managing of inflation (41.4 to 28.4 points), managing of unemployment (37.9 to 29.7 points), and managing a conducive political climate (46.6 to 37.7 points).
The remaining four components that continue to decrease are trade negotiations (both bilateral/ multilateral) (42.0 to 35.9 points), pushing the economic reforms forward (46.6 to 42.8), managing overall economic growth (63.8 to 56.3 points) and managing exchange rate (35.4 to 31.2 points), the NACER-MasterCard survey said.
Hope is the expectation that something outside of ourselves is going to come to our rescue and that we will live happily ever after. Nowadays, one can only hope against hope
The recent events related with Mumbai and Maharashtra have left me thinking over my real problems, completely ignored by everyone, including myself.
Does the release of Shah Rukh Khan's movie, the so-called 'rada' (ruckus) created by the Shiv Sena and more importantly, the Indian Premier League (IPL), which kick-started the recent events make any difference to my day-to-day life in Mumbai? Even the fight over Marathi and Hindi... does the common man really care for it? I don’t think so.
Take for example—I, along with a few lakh (65 lakh-70 lakh) people spend about three-four hours every day travelling in an overcrowded local train. Every day, some fellow commuter falls down while getting into a train, some even lose their life. Similarly, those who travel by car and bus have to tackle the daily traffic jams at some bottleneck or signal. This pathetic and tiring travel leaves everyone with little energy to bother about the non-related issues mentioned above. This is the condition of all people from Mumbai, including Marathis and others, whether they travel by local train or any other vehicle. Do you think anyone—the railways, SRK, Shiv Sena or even Rahul Gandhi, who travelled in a Mumbai local during non-peak hours—cares? I have my doubts.
Second, the daily life of common people, particularly those of us staying in Mumbai, has become vulnerable. Nobody can assure Mumbaikars (residents of Mumbai) that he or she will return home intact. Life is always under threat in Mumbai. Most of the times, the threat is from terrorists, but sometimes even political parties do this job (terrorising people) with ease.
However, there is hardly is any security for a common Mumbaikar. Security of cinema theatres is most important for the ruling Congress-NCP state government.
Third, inflation is eating away a major chunk from my earnings and has left me with little or no savings. Everyday, prices of some essential item are going up just like our age, which never declines. Political parties, film heroes or the TRP-crazy media—nobody has the time to look into these problems.
In its recent monetary policy review, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has indicated that sustained increase in food prices is beginning to spill over into other commodities and services as well. While the RBI has pegged GDP growth at 7.2%, agricultural input is likely to decline by 0.2% from last year’s growth of 1.6%. Compare this to the fact that almost 60% of the country's population is dependent on agriculture—which again depends mostly on seasonal rains and still faces challenges like drought and floods—and you have a pitiable scenario.
The agriculture ministry was supposed to boost production of food material through innovative research and development. However, recently, we found the Union minister for agriculture Sharad Pawar in a row over his accurate predictions about sugar and milk prices. We are not averse to price increase, but the real question is, does the farmer who produces sugarcane and supplies milk get his dues? How much share does he actually receive from the hike? No one, including all mentioned above is interested. Everyone—film heroes, political parties and the media—tries to lure the common man for buying, watching and supporting their causes, but nobody really cares for his daily worries and struggle to survive.
As far as the recent ruckus over non-issues is concerned, this is nothing but the race to survive. Shah Rukh Khan wants to prove that he is a bigger star and his movie can earn more than his (rival?) Aamir Khan’s '3Idiots'. Shiv Sena, caught up in a drowning syndrome—courtesy Raj Thackeray—is trying to stay afloat while keeping its herd intact. The Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra feels that 'All Iz Well' and there is no need to bother to look into the common man's woes, since there is no election in the near term. At the national level, the Congress thinks it can make inroads into Bihar and Uttar Pradesh by raising Mumbai and migration issues.
So keep smiling, do not worry, as nobody has time to care for you and me. If you think there is some energy, or a spark left in you, then shout loudly "All Iz Well".
By the way, do you remember a movie called 'Deshdrohi' that was banned by the Maharashtra government? I watched it on You Tube... and couldn’t stop laughing. It was hilarious. It is a readymade and perfect guidebook for any newbie on how not to make a movie!
The move will further liberalise norms and expedite foreign investment inflow into the country
The government on Thursday allowed the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to approve foreign investment of up to Rs1,200 crore, against the existing limit of Rs600 crore, reports PTI.
"The recommendation of FIPB on proposals with total foreign equity inflow of and below Rs1,200 crore will be considered by the finance minister for approval," home minister P Chidambaram told reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), which approved the proposal.
The move will further liberalise norms and expedite foreign investment inflow into the country.
Earlier, foreign investment of up to Rs600 crore was approved by the finance minister and any amount more than that was put up to the CCEA for approval.