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India Budget 2014-15 Analysis

When the Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley assumed office earlier this year, he had his task cut out for him. The country was slowly descending towards the “Hindu rate of growth” (~3.5%) over the past two years. Fiscal numbers were amiss, indecisiveness and red tape had affected government operations, supply side bottlenecks were creating stagflationary conditions, and business sentiment was in doldrums. Yet, the first budget from the Finance Minister seems to be a concrete step to rekindle growth through fiscal consolidation, investment cycle revival, driving the manufacturing sector, supporting agriculture and restoring business sentiment.

To begin with, the fiscal deficit for the year has been pegged at 4.1% of GDP in 2014–15; this would be reduced further to 3% by 2016–17. Despite the steep target and sluggish macroeconomic conditions, the Finance Minister has decided to dig his heels in and work on this admittedly hard task. Though he has not outlined how he would go about achieving these targets, the Finance Minister has stated that tax buoyancy (rather than curbing essential expenditure) would be the way forward. The establishment of the Expenditure Management Commission and the introduction of the Goods and Service Tax could be the first steps.

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Jaitley’s Budget did not forget the “aam aadmi” who voted on its feet and gave an overwhelming majority to the government. As a sign of thanks there were a number of benefits in the form of tax concessions (rise in tax exemption, easier norms for student loans, allocations for low-cost housing and rise in investment limits).

The NDA government has projected this budget as the first step in returning the country to 7–8% growth. Given the short time frame, numerous problems at hand and limited fiscal bandwidth, the Finance Minister unveiled a pragmatic budget which takes into account ground realities and suggests some quick fixes. It would be too early to pronounce judgment on this budget and the government would face its real test in 2015-16, when the honourable Finance Minister rises to present his second budget.

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Saudi Arabia – Emergence of an Innovation Kingdom | An Aranca Special Report

Supported by resilient collaboration between the government, academia, and industry, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has laid the foundation for a knowledge-driven economy. Innovation-led strategic transformation is underway in the Kingdom and is likely to be the foundation of the next wave for economic and social progress. This special report on Saudi Arabia highlights the fact that Innovation (or simply the use of technology) is the most important aspect that will separate the economic leaders of tomorrow from the ‘also-rans’. 

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Aranca Report on India Interim Budget 2014

In the last budget of the UPA II government, Mr. Chidambaram stressed on the country’s inherent potential to regain high economic growth. With the general elections now only months away, clearly some of the targets set in the interim budget appear optimistic. Since this was a vote on account rather than the budget, his terms of reference were restricted constitutionally, and there was very little scope for him to introduce new taxation and expenditure proposals

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SAUDI ARABIA - A USD1.3 Trillion Economy by 2025

As the exclusive knowledge partner for The Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference 2013, Aranca has compiled a special report on Saudi Arabia’s journey till 2025, highlighting the Kingdom’s economic potential, its influence on the region’s economy and opportunities available.

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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), a completely oil-dependent economy until a few decades ago, has now transformed into one of the most vibrant economies in the Middle East. Today, the country has a diversified economic structure, strong international trade links, a stable political environment, strong fiscal surplus and a vibrant financial services sector. Saudi Arabia’s increasing contribution to the global economy has earned it a permanent seat at the G-20 -- the only OPEC member to get the honour.

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