India entered 2017 in the wake of demonetisation, which rendered the economy cashless and sluggish. A little over six months into the year and the GST came into effect, causing another upheaval in the markets. Meanwhile, the year witnessed several landmark reforms as trials began under the bankruptcy laws and the real estate regulation bill was implemented. Towards the end of 2017, as the ravaged economy began to heal, India was rewarded with a 30 level jump in the World Bank’s list of Ease of Doing Business. The nation is now moving ahead into 2018 with the promise of the GDP growth picking up and with the potential of becoming the world’s fifth largest economy, according to a Centre for Economics and Business Research report. All’s well that ends well? You decide.
GST — One nation, one tax: The government rolled out the Goods and Services tax in a special midnight Parliament session on July 1st, 2017. This crucial tax reform subsumed a cascade of taxes levied by the states and the Centre. Various levies were compressed into 4 tax slabs of 5%, 10%, 18% and 28%.
India jumps to rank 100 on World Bank list: India broke into the top 100 on World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking in its October report. India’s 30-level jump comes after the country worked relentlessly over the last several years, implementing reforms in 8 out of 10 Doing Business indicators.
Trials begin under landmark Bankruptcy Law: Essar Steel India Ltd (ESIL) became the first major company to be tried under the newly enacted Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. The new bankruptcy law aims to ensure time-bound settlement of insolvency, enable faster turnaround and create a database of serial defaulters.
India on fast track with bullet train: After Taiwan, India became the second country in the world to import Japan’s iconic ‘Shinkansen’ bullet-train technology. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe kicked off the project amid massive celebrations.
Forging strategic links with neighbours: The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India marked their 25 years of developing ties, bolstering India’s Act east policy. On the western front, India flagged off operations from the strategically important Chabahar port that it developed in Iran.
Historic shift in Indo-Israel relations: India-Israel marked 25 years of evolving ties between the two countries with a landmark visit by PM Modi to the Jewish nation. PM Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel. His 3-day visit furthered economic ties with the important ally.
The FRDI Bill 2017: The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill came into consideration and it provides for the setting up of a Resolution Corporation which will be tasked with monitoring financial firms, anticipating their risk of failure, taking corrective action and resolving them in case of failure.
RERA Act 2016: All provisions of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 came into effect on May 1st. RERA, India’s first real estate regulator, seeks to make the home purchasing process simpler and transparent.
India’s GDP growth slows: India’s GDP growth slowed to a 3-year low at 5.7% in the April-June quarter with reforms like GST and demonetisation sending tremors through the economy. However, the GST shock eased considerably reflecting in a higher 6.3% growth rate in the second quarter. Moving ahead, India is poised to recover its fastest growing economy title in 2018.
Aadhaar direct benefit transfer: The Aadhaar direct benefit transfer scheme was introduced to ensure government welfare funds reached only those to whom they were targeted and eliminate fraud or duplicate accounts. The deadline for linking Aadhaar for Central welfare schemes is now March 31st.