Basic characteristics of the Indian economy in present times

Market size

  • India’s real gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices stood at Rs. 135.13 lakh crore (US$ 1.82 trillion) in FY21, as per the provisional estimates of annual national income for 2020-21.
  • India is the fourth-largest unicorn base in the world with over 21 unicorns collectively valued at US$ 73.2 billion, as per the Hurun Global Unicorn List. By 2025, India is expected to have ~100 unicorns by 2025 and will create ~1.1 million direct jobs according to the Nasscom-Zinnov report ‘Indian Tech Start-up’.
  • India needs to increase its rate of employment growth and create 90 million non-farm jobs between 2023 and 2030’s, for productivity and economic growth according to McKinsey Global Institute. Net employment rate needs to grow by 1.5% per year from 2023 to 2030 to achieve 8-8.5% GDP growth between 2023 and 2030.
  • According to data from the RBI, as of the week ended on June 04, 2021, the foreign exchange reserves in India increased by US$ 6.842 billion to reach US$ 605 billion.


Recent Developments

  • With an improvement in the economic scenario, there have been investments across various sectors of the economy. Private Equity – Venture Capital (PE-VC) sector recorded investments worth US$ 20 billion in the first five months of 2021, registering a 2x growth in value compared with the same period in 2020. Some of the important recent developments in Indian economy are as follows:
  • Merchandise exports stood at US$ 62.89 billion between April 2021 and May 2021, while imports touched US$ 84.27 billion. The estimated value of service exports and imports Cumulative FDI equity inflows in India stood at US$ 763.58 billion between April 2000 and March 2021. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows in India stood at US$ 6.24 billion in April 2021, registering an increase of 38% YoY.
  • India’s Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for April 2021 stood at 126.6 against 143.4 for March 2021.
  • Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) – Combined inflation was 5.01 in May 2021 against 1.96 in April 2021.
  • Consumer Price Index (CPI) – Combined inflation was 6.30 in May 2021 against 4.23 in April 2021.
  • In June 2021, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) turned net buyers by investing Rs. 12,714 crore (US$ 1.71 billion) into the Indian markets. According to depositories data, between June 1, 2021 and June 25, 2021, FPIs invested Rs. 15,282 crore (US$ 2.06 billion) in equities.
  • between April 2021 and May 2021 stood at US$ 35.39 billion and US$ 19.86 billion, respectively.
  • In May 2021, the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in India stood at 50.8.
  • Gross GST collections stood at Rs. 141,384 crore (US$ 19.41 billion) in April 2021.


Government Initiatives

  • The first Union Budget of the third decade of 21st century was presented by Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament on February 1, 2020. The budget aimed at energising the Indian economy through a combination of short-term, medium-term and long-term measures.
  • In the Union Budget 2021-22, capital expenditure for FY22 is likely to increase to increase by 34.5% at Rs. 5.5 lakh crore (US$ 75.81 billion) over FY21 (BE) to boost the economy.
  • Increased government expenditure is expected to attract private investments, with production-linked incentive scheme providing excellent opportunities. Consistently proactive, graded and measured policy support is anticipated to boost the Indian economy.
  • In May 2021, the government approved the production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for manufacturing advanced chemistry cell (ACC) batteries at an estimated outlay of Rs. 18,100 crore (US$ 2.44 billion); this move is expected to attract domestic and foreign investments worth Rs. 45,000 crore (US$ 6.07 billion).
  • The Union Cabinet approved the production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for white goods (air conditioners and LED lights) with a budgetary outlay of Rs. 6,238 crore (US$ 848.96 million) and the ‘National Programme on High Efficiency Solar PV (Photo Voltic) Modules’ with an outlay of Rs. 4,500 crore US$ 612.43 million).
  • In June 2021, the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) announced that the investment limit for FPI (foreign portfolio investors) in the State Development Loans (SDLs) and government securities (G-secs) would persist unaffected at 2% and 6%, respectively, in FY22.
  • To boost the overall audit quality, transparency and add value to businesses, in April 2021, the RBI issued a notice on new norms to appoint statutory and central auditors for commercial banks, large urban co-operatives and large non-banks and housing finance firms.
  • In May 2021, the Government of India has allocated Rs. 2,250 crore (US$ 306.80 million) for development of the horticulture sector in 2021-22.
  • In November 2020, the Government of India announced Rs. 2.65 lakh crore (US$ 36 billion) stimulus package to generate job opportunities and provide liquidity support to various sectors such as tourism, aviation, construction and housing. Also, India’s cabinet approved the production-linked incentives (PLI) scheme to provide ~Rs. 2 trillion (US$ 27 billion) over five years to create jobs and boost production in the country.
  • Numerous foreign companies are setting up their facilities in India on account of various Government initiatives like Make in India and Digital India. Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, launched Make in India initiative with an aim to boost country’s manufacturing sector and increase purchasing power of an average Indian consumer, which would further drive demand and spur development, thus benefiting investors. The Government of India, under its Make in India initiative, is trying to boost the contribution made by the manufacturing sector with an aim to take it to 25% of the GDP from the current 17%. Besides, the Government has also come up with Digital India initiative, which focuses on three core components: creation of digital infrastructure, delivering services digitally and to increase the digital literacy.


Some of the recent initiatives and developments undertaken by the Government are listed below:

  • In June 2021, RBI Governor, Mr. Shaktikanta Das announced the policy repo rate unchanged at 4%. He also announced various measures including Rs. 15,000 crore (US$ 2.05 billion) liquidity support to contact-intensive sectors such as tourism and hospitality.
  • In June 2021, Finance Ministers of G-7 countries, including the US, the UK, Japan, Italy, Germany, France and Canada, attained a historic contract on taxing multinational firms as per which the minimum global tax rate would be at least 15%. The move is expected to benefit India to increase foreign direct investments in the country.
  • In June 2021, the Indian government signed a US$ 32 million loan with World Bank for improving healthcare services in Mizoram.
  • In May 2021, the Government of India (GoI) and European Investment Bank (EIB) signed the finance contract for second tranche of EUR 150 million (US$ 182.30 million) for Pune Metro Rail project.
  • According to an official source, as of June 2021, 29 companies including global electronics manufacturing organisations, such as companies Foxconn, Sanmina SCI, Flex, Jabil Circuit, have registered under the Rs. 12,195 crore (US$ 1.64 billion) production linked incentive scheme for the telecom sector.
  • In May 2021, Union Cabinet has approved the signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) on migration and mobility partnership between the Government of India, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • In April 2021, Minister for Railways and Commerce & Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Mr. Piyush Goyal, launched ‘DGFT Trade Facilitation’ app to provide instant access to exporters/importers anytime and anywhere.
  • In April 2021, Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman AlBanna, Ambassador of the UAE to India and Founding Patron of IFIICC, stated that trilateral trade between India, the UAE and Israel is expected to reach US$ 110 billion by 2030.
  • India is expected to attract investment of around US$ 100 billion in developing the oil and gas infrastructure during 2019-23.
  • The Government of India is going to increase public health spending to 2.5% of the GDP by 2025.
  • For implementation of Agriculture Export Policy, Government approved an outlay Rs. 2.068 billion (US$ 29.59 million) for 2019, aimed at doubling farmers income by 2022.


Road Ahead

  • As indicated by provisional estimates released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), India posted a V-shaped recovery in the second half of FY21. As per these estimates, India registered an increase of 1.1% in the second half of FY21; this was driven by the gradual and phased unlocking of industrial activities, increased investments and growth in government expenditure.
  • As per the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) estimates, India’s real GDP growth is projected at 9.5% in FY22; this includes 18.5% increase in the first quarter of FY22; 7.9% growth in the second quarter of FY22; 7.2% rise in the third quarter of FY22 and 6.6% growth in the fourth quarter of FY22.
  • India is focusing on renewable sources to generate energy. It is planning to achieve 40% of its energy from non-fossil sources by 2030, which is currently 30% and have plans to increase its renewable energy capacity from to 175 gigawatt (GW) by 2022. In line with this, in May 2021, India, along with the UK, jointly launched a ‘Roadmap 2030’ to collaborate and combat climate change by 2030.
  • India is expected to be the third largest consumer economy as its consumption may triple to US$ 4 trillion by 2025, owing to shift in consumer behaviour and expenditure pattern, according to a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report. It is estimated to surpass USA to become the second largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) by 2040 as per a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.