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Feb 27, 2013, 05.41 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Economic Survey: Need to plug 'leakages'; growth revival will contain NPAs

The survey notes that there are pressing governance issues like programme leakages and funds not reaching the targeted beneficiaries that need to be addressed.

Moneycontrol Bureau

1:32 pm: On the Budget the Survey says it has to maintain a delicate balance between the need to reduce the expenditure that is perceived as non-developmental, given the structural rigidities in the key expenditure components and the needs for raising the levels of development expenditure for inclusive growth.

1: 15 pm: On financial sector reform, it takes note of the high level of gross NPAs (non-performing assets) of the banking sector which increased from 2.36 percent of the total credit advanced in March 2011 to 3.57 percent of total credit advanced in September 2012.

The survey suggests that revival of growth will help contain NPAs, but more attention will have to be paid to whether projects are adequately capitalized up front given the risks.

1:03 pm: Need to plug leakages: Survey

The survey notes that there are pressing governance issues like programme leakages and funds not reaching the targeted beneficiaries that need to be addressed. Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) with the help of the Unique Identification Number (Aadhaar) can help plug some of these leakages. With the 12th Plan's focus on 'environmental sustainability', India is on the right track. However, the challenge for India is to make the key drivers and enablers of growth-be it infrastructure, the transportation sector, housing, or sustainable agriculture-grow sustainably.

12:52 pm: Montek Singh Ahulluwalia, deputy chairman of the Planning Commission says he is not surprised the finance ministry has used Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) estimates for basis for the survey. "If you have official agency coming up with a number and you have survey a few days you should accept it," he told reporters before rushing off to receive a phone call.

12:42 pm: A special chapter focusing on jobs

The future holds promise for India provided we can seize the "demographic dividend " as nearly half the additions to the Indian labour force over the period 2011-30 will be in the age group 30-49. India is creating jobs in industry but mainly in low productivity construction and not enough formal jobs in manufacturing, which typically are higher productivity. The high productivity service sector is also not creating enough jobs.

As the number of people looking for jobs rises, both because of the population dividend and because share of agriculture shrinks, these vulnerabilities will become important. Because good jobs are both the pathway to growth as well as the best form of inclusion, India has to think of ways of enabling their creation.

12:37 pm: Tight RBI policy led to sharper-than-expected slowdown

The RBI's monetary policy stance has continued to focus on the twin objectives of containing inflation and facilitating growth. Increasing risks to growth from external as well as domestic sources and tight monetary policy in face of persistent inflationary pressures have contributed to a sharper slowdown of the economy than anticipated.

There has been some moderation in inflation in Q3 of 2012-13 and with the expected fiscal consolidation the current macroeconomic situation creates room for a more accommodative monetary policy. Further, with a significant part of inflation getting generated because of poor supply responses, a further shift in the policy stance of RBI, coupled with improving access to credit with moderation in its cost, would be desirable.

12: 31 pm: Addressing the key fiscal risk of petroleum subsidies is critical in better fiscal marksmanship. With the recent reforms in diesel prices and efforts at expenditure reprioritization, the medium-term fiscal consolidation plan is credible and could yet again yield macroeconomic dividends in terms of higher growth and price stability

12: 20 pm: The Economic Survey sees sluggish industrial growth likely to improve in FY14. "The overall economic environment remains fragile,” the survey which tabled in the Parliament said.

The market has recovered from the low point of the day after the economic Survey pointed out that Indian economy is likely to grow at 6.1-6.7% in FY14. It hints at monetary easing that will pushpedal growth.

The Sensex was up 88.28 points or 0.46% at 19103.42, and the Nifty moved up 19.50 points or 0.34% at 5780.85.

12:10 pm: CNBC-TV18's Siddharth Zarabi says Raghuram's message is clear. Unless India undertakes significant reforms the picture looks bleak.

Austerity will be plank but it may not necessarily translate into growth, says Samiran Chakrabarty of Standard Chartered Bank. "We should present a pragmatic Budget rather than a austere one," he told the channel.

12:00 pm: The government tables the Economic Survey for 2012-13. Survey says WPI inflation may decline to 6.2-.6.6 percent in March.

FY13 Economic Survey says lower inflation to create more room for rate cuts.

It says growth downturn more or less over, economy looking up. However, the key fiscal risk remains oil subsidy, which needs to be addressed. It adds that the widening trade, current account gap are matters of concern.

The FY13 Economic Survey pegs the Indian economy growth at 6.1-6.7 percent In FY14.

11: 58 am: Is the Economic Survey really important? Catch the expert discussion on the topic: Here

11: 55 am: India's largest lender State Bank of India has raised rates for retail term deposits below Rs 1 crore. SBI has also upped rates by 25 bps for retail term deposits of one-10 years.

11: 45am: European markets to be blamed

Ridham Desai of Morgan Stanley thinks the European woes are to be blamed for the beating that the market took. According to him, a slightly aggressive Railway Budget may have fared well for the market.

Desai added that investors are looking at a tight balance between growth and fiscal deficit. As a result, all eyes will be on the Union Budget to see what the finance minister comes up with in terms of curtailing the deficit and improving growth, he opined.

11: 38 am: Sell-off due to funding crunch, not negative Budget, says Ambit

According to Saurabh Mukherjea, head of equities at Ambit Capital, the heavy sell-off in the market is due to a funding crunch in the local market and is not indicative of a negative Union Budget. “The fact that those sell-offs are associated with stocks where the promoter pledges are high corroborates my thinking that this sell-off is driven more by a specific funding crunch pressure in the local market rather than because of broader macro sentiment,” he said. ( Catch full interview here)

11: 15 am: Bloodbath in midcaps continues

The sell-off in midcap shares intensified on Wednesday, with rumours swirling that the promoters of some of these companies could be teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Dealers said the steep fall in prices could spell trouble for some large traders and brokerages as well. (Full report)

10: 18 am: Rupee edges higher; oil buying likely to limit gains

The rupee trading higher at 53.96/97 versus its previous close of 54.09/10 on the back of a recovery in risk assets regionally.

Month-end dollar demand from oil firms is likely to limit a very sharp fall.

Asian shares rebounded as US equities rose on solid data and the Federal Reserve's affirmation of its commitment to monetary stimulus, but investors remained wary of political gridlock in Italy reigniting the euro zone financial crisis.

Most Asian currencies are also trading stronger compared with the dollar.

The pair is seen moving in a 53.85 to 54.15 range during the session.

10:10 am: Not worried about add'l cost of Food Security, says Thomas

KV Thomas, MoS, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution (Independent Charge) says the government has examined the Standing Committee proposals on the Food Security Bill. "We will introduce the FSB in the last week of the Budget session," he told CNBC-TV18 in an exclusive interview .

The UPA government has been keen to push through the FSB, which would ensure subsidised grains to 75 percent of the population — with the poor getting a higher subsidy — ahead of the general elections.

However, Thomas told the channel that he is not worried about the additional cost of the Food Security Bill.

Meanwhile, S Narayan, former finance secretary expects FY14 fiscal deficit projects in the Economic Survey at 4.8%.

The major focus of the Survey this year is likely to be on pushing economic growth, which has been projected by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) at 5 percent for this fiscal, sharply lower than the original estimate of 7.6 percent (+/- 0.25 percent).

9:42 am: The Economic Survey may project FY14 GDP growth at 6.1-6.7 percent, reports NewsWire18 quoting sources.

Sources say the Economic Survey may project March WPI inflation 6.2-6.6 percent.

9:15 am: Sensex, Nifty open in green after yesterday's drubbing

After yesterday’s 300 point cut sell off on the Sensex, the market pulled back a little bit. The Sensex is up 86.67 points or 0.46% at 19101.81, and the Nifty up 21.30 points or 0.37% at 5782.65.

Bharti Airtel is up over 2 percent after Morgan Stanley raised its rating on India's largest telecom company to "overweight" from "equalweight." MS is positive on the sector looking at rising tariffs and data volumes, falling capital spending and eased competitive intensity.

Nomura also raised its rating on Bharti, but to "neutral" from "reduce", citing a recent share price drop. Nomura said it remained "relatively cautious" on the sector given high valuations, regulatory "drama", and a "low" degree of confidence in earnings.

9: 00 am: Good Morning everyone! Chief Economic Advisor Raghuram Rajan's first ever economic survey for the current fiscal will be tabled in the Parliament today. While the ritual has gradually lost relevance in terms of fresh data -the document may have pointers for the Budget . (More details)

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