NEW DELHI: As the BJP-led NDA government completes two years in office, an industry
chamber described it as "work in progress" but said that "a lot more is
required" to be done on the issue of tax disputes, while concerns
remain on the huge bad loans incurred by the banking system.
Here's how key economic ministries have fared in the last two years:
Finance and corporate affairs (Arun Jaitley):
the instrument of two full union budgets and more, Jaitley has helped
the economy achieve a fair degree of macroeconomic stability and a GDP
growth rate of over seven percent, which surpassed China's, prompting
the IMF to tag India as the fastest growing major economy.
government's other achievements include controlling the current account
and fiscal deficits, while inflation has also declined, with a little
help and nudging by the RBI, from 11 percent to below five percent,
making room for interest rates to be cut.
investment has been quite slow to revive and job creation has remained
low in a situation of stymied industrial growth.
this month showed growth of India's manufacturing, which has the maximum
weight in the overall index of industrial production, actually fell by
1.2 percent in March after rising during the month before.
to the situation is the high levels of bad loans of public sector banks
that have choked up credit flow to industry - gross non-performing
assets (GNPAs) could rise to 6.9 percent by March 2017, the deadline set
by the RBI governor for banks to clean-up their balance sheets.
who is realistic about the pace of reforms in India, has managed to
steer the Bankruptcy Code through parliament - a reform measure which
will help address the NPAs issue.
However, the overhaul of
India's indirect tax system is held up with the proposed Goods and
Services Tax (GST) Bill currently stalled in the Rajya Sabha.
Commerce and industry (Nirmala Sitharaman):
has been directly hit the most by the global economic slowdown, with
exports being in decline from around the time Commerce Minister Nirmala
Sitharaman took office.
Official data earlier this month showed
India's merchandise exports in April were valued at $20.57 billion -
down 6.74 percent in dollar terms - against $22.05 billion in the like
month of last year, signalling a decline for the 17th straight month.
Power, coal and renewable energy (Piyush Goyal):
as a whole, one of the few areas of high performance. In his first
year, his team conducted the first successful coal mine auctions, while
other efforts yielded higher coal output.
The ministry also
managed to reduce solar power tariffs through competitive bidding and
reviving stranded gas-based power plants.
"India has become power
surplus from chronic power shortage. There has been a record capacity
addition of 20 percent of current conventional power capacity and solar
power capacity addition of 157 percent in the last two years," Goyal has
During the second year, Goyal launched the Ujwal Discom
Assurance Yojana (UDAY) to revive the hugely indebted state distribution
The power ministry also brought in a new National
Tariff Policy, with focus on electricity for all and affordable tariffs
Civil aviation (Ashok Gajapathi Raju):
central government's ambitious plans on making flying more affordable
and profitable remained grounded, as the sector waited in the wings for
the National Civil Aviation Policy, widely debated and appreciated but
is still to get the green signal.
The draft policy, nonetheless,
has some far-reaching implications. Among the proposals is one to scrap
the 5/20 norm, which stipulates a minimum five years of operations and a
fleet of 20 aircraft for overseas flying rights, and to peg a minimum
tariff of no more than Rs.2,500 per ticket for each flying-hour.
the real thrust behind the industry's turnaround were lower fuel
prices, uptick in economic activity and a stellar rise in passenger
traffic. All the major listed players reported robust earnings.
the central government did manage to include the sector in the list of
15 industries in which foreign equity norms were eased.
Communications (Ravi Shankar Prasad):
to provide better service to the customers the government successfully
auctioned spectrum in 2015, mopping up Rs.1.10 lakh crore ($17.6
billion) to licence 380.75 MHz of airwaves in the 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz and
800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands across 17 out of 22 telecom circles.
also allowed spectrum trading and sharing so that the telecom service
providers can offer seamless network connectivity. Mobile number
portability across the country was made operational. The service
providers are gearing up for nationwide 4G telephony launch.
government has also planned for another mega spectrum auction this year,
from which it expects to garner a whopping Rs.560,000 crore ($83
But the ghost of call drops kept haunting the
government every now and then. The sector regulator, Telecom Regulatory
Authority of India, had directed operators to compensate for call drops
from Jan 1, 2016. But after a long court battle, the Supreme Court
scrapped the watchdog's order. However, the government assured mobile
phone users that it will keep a check on service quality.