New figures suggest India’s economy will grow at a steady pace this year. Data from the Central Statistics Organization projects GDP growth at 8.6% for the fiscal ending in March. The previous year, the country’s economy expanded an estimated 8%.
The revised projection was boosted by a healthy farm output. The sector is expected to grow at 5.4% compared to 0.4% in the last fiscal. Industry is projected to retain a steady 8.1% growth, and the figure for the services sector is 9.6%.
The CSO’s estimate could mean India is on its way to become a middle income country. It gives India a GDP of $1.73 trillion by March end. That translates into an annual per capita income of around $1,200.
Moving on, some of India’s mobile phone companies may soon have to pay a lot more for the 2G spectrum they already have. On Wednesday, telecom regulator, Trai, said 2G spectrum in 1,800 MHz band should be priced at 53-136% of the rate for 3G spectrum. It also called for a separate formula to calculate charges for start-up spectrum of 6.2 MHz.
Not surprisingly, established players were critical of the recommendations. Bharti Airtel said they defied logic and that there was great inconsistency in the pricing structure. And Vodafone Essar called Trai’s proposal “discriminatory”.
In another key recommendation this week, market regulator Sebi proposed amendments to the Companies Bill. Chairman C.B. Bhave said it would recommend not allowing people related to a company from getting certain voting rights. More specifically, that means interested parties will not be able to vote on special resolutions of prescribed related party transactions. Bhave said the recommendations came after what was once Satyam Computers decided to buy majority stakes in two group companies without consulting minority shareholders.