Skip to main content

Identifying "risks", World Bank blames Opposition for blocking pro-industry land reforms in Upper House

By Our Representative
Even as predicting that India might experience one of the highest rates of growth in the world over the next three years – 7.8 per cent in 2016, 7.9 per cent in 2017 and 7.9 per cent in 2018 – the World Bank believes that to maintain this rate of growth, the Government of India would do well to avoid “mainly domestic risks.”
Identifying the “risks”, a World Bank Group Flagship report, “Global Economic Prospects: Spillovers amid Weak Growth” says that these “include reform setbacks in the reform momentum”, suggesting this alone may have been reason why there was “an estimated 7.2 percent year-on-year in the first half of the 2015/16 fiscal year compared with 7.3 percent in FY2014/15 as a whole.”
Attacking the Opposition Congress in India for contributing to the “risks”, the World Bank supports the NDA’s socio-economic agenda of seeking to allow industry to buy up agricultural and tribal land more easily through the now aborted amendment to the Land Acquisition Act (LAA), 2013.
It insists, “In India, progress in reforms is not assured as the upper house of parliament, which the ruling party does not control, has the power to block the government’s legislative agenda.”
It adds, “Slow progress on land reforms could add to investment delays, and private investment growth may be unable to build further momentum.”
The World Bank says, “The financing of public-private partnerships also remains a challenge. A failure to pass the goods and services tax (GST) could hamper the government’s ability to ramp up spending on infrastructure needs and preserve the status quo of fragmented domestic markets.”
It further says, “In addition, although India has made good progress on reducing external vulnerabilities and strengthening the credibility of the macro policy framework, high levels of nonperforming loans in the banking sector, concentrated in construction, natural resource and infrastructure sectors, could impede a pickup in investment if left unaddressed.”
It adds, “There are also downside risks to growth in the near term from sub-par monsoon rainfall across most of India, and farm output growth may prove weaker than projected.”
At the same time, the World Bank suggests, there may be external reasons attached with the risks, too. It says, “A one percentage point decline in GDP growth in G-7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and the United States) causes growth in India to fall by 1.7 percentage points.”
Giving main conditions under which India may achieve a high rate of growth, the World Bank says, these include, “Monetary and fiscal restraint, the fall in global crude oil prices and a moderation in food price inflation… and a narrowing of current account and fiscal deficits.”
“Momentum in industrial output has slowed and both the services and manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Indices (PMIs) have softened”, it points out, though adding, “The investment cycle is gradually picking up, led by a government efforts to boost investment in infrastructure, particularly roads, railways and urban infrastructure.”
Advising the South Asian countries to boost their trade ties, the World Bank says, “As a share of GDP, intra-regional exports are smaller than anywhere else in the world. On average, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh’s exports to each other amount to less than 2 percent of total exports." 
It adds, "Average trade costs between country pairs in South Asia are 85 percent higher than between country pairs in East Asia reflecting border barriers, poor infrastructure and transport connectivity, and generally poor business environments.”
“However”, it regrets, “Unofficial trade (in narcotics, but also illegal food trade in the Punjab) is reported to be significant. Estimates of the size of unofficial trade vary between countries, with recent studies placing the value of Indian exports to Pakistan at about $1.8 bn (or nearly 1 percent of GDP).”
---
Click HERE to download South Asia part of the report

Comments

TRENDING

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Narmada Valley's fossil evidence: Ground for 'nationalists' to argue primates' India roots?

By Saurav Sarkar*  In December 1982, a geologist digging in India’s Central Narmada Valley found something he did not expect. Arun Sonakia, who at the time worked for the Geological Survey of India, unearthed a hominid fossil skullcap from the Pleistocene era. The discovery sent shockwaves through the field of paleoanthropology and put South Asia on the map of human prehistory. Some experts concluded that the skull likely belonged to a member of a predecessor species of ours, Homo heidelbergensis , or perhaps was a hybrid of homo species, while Sonakia himself suggested “ an affinity… to Homo erectus .”

WTO 'loses legitimacy': CSOs shut out of normal participation in MC13 at Abu Dhabi

By Deborah James  Given unprecedented repression of participants, the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) at Abu Dhabi should not continue until historical and international standards and human rights for participation in global governance are restored.

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Plea to stop 'unlawful' restraints, threats, harassment of farmers off Bangla border

Counterview Desk  In a representation to the District Magistrate, Cooch Behar, West Bengal, human rights defender Kirity Roy has said that Border Security Force (BSF) personnel off Indo-Bangladesh border have prohibited farmers of Hemkumari Dangapara village from going to their own agricultural lands to either pick up the crops they have cultivated or grow paddy.