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August 3, 2012
The global recession has affected the entire world economy, with higher detriment in some countries than others. It is a major global recession characterized by various systemic imbalances. The economic side effects of the European sovereign debt crisis accompanied with slowing US growth continues to provide obstacles to world economic growth. There are two senses of the word "recession": a less precise sense, referring broadly to "a period of reduced economic activity" and the academic sense used most often in economics, which is defined operationally, referring specifically to the contraction phase of a business cycle, with two or more consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. If one analyses the event using the economics-academic definition of the word, the recession ended in the U.S. in June or July 2009. However, in the broader sense of the word, many people use the term to refer to the on-going hardship, persistent high unemployment along with low consumer confidence, the continuing decline in home values and increase in foreclosures and personal bankruptcies, an escalating federal debt crisis, inflation, and rising petroleum and food prices. The Indian economy has been adversely affected and has been experiencing recessionary trends and acute financial crisis. India’s public debt rose by 4.9 per cent during the first quarter (April-June) of fiscal year 2012. Petrol, diesel and LPG prices have been invreased.Index of Industrial Production (IIP) recorded 2.4% growth in May 2012 as against 6.2% in May 2011. According to the latest foreign trade data released by the Union Commerce Ministry, on 2 June 2012, India’s exports slipped by 4.16 % to 25.68 billion dollar in May 2012. The slump was largely attributed to sluggish global economic outlook and declining domestic industrial growth. However all is not so gloomy: Amidst these turbulent times there is a silver lining. India Inc has now at the helm of its affairs, Mr.Pranab Mukherjee, the veteran Congress politician and the party's chief trouble-shooter over the past eight years. As the first citizen, he now faces the challenge to be a model President, who is constitutionally correct, politically neutral and, yet, socially admired. Mukherjee's high-profile political career, unlike most of his predecessors in RashtrapatiBhavan, is expected to keep his five-year stint under the constant gaze of critics’ right from day one. Further, the Government is making all efforts to improve the financial and economic condition of India Inc. As a step in this direction,  the finance ministry recently conducted road shows in five countries in the Gulf region--Riyadh, Dubai, Muscat, Kuwait and Bahrain - to project India as the incredible investment destination for wealthy investors. The government is targeting the wealthy foreign investors to invest directly through the Qualified framework investor (QFI) Scheme, so that the stable in-flows of money can fund the current account deficits. The said scheme is expected to attract investment worth about $30 billion in 2012-13 period thereby helping the country fund a chunk of the current account deficit pegged at 4.2% of GDP in 2011-12. Following the deal struck by Kotak Mahindra Bank worth $5 million India received its first investment through the qualified framework investor (QFI) route. The deal formally put an end to speculation that India’s attempt to get investors to buy shares directly will go kaput. There were several updates and amendments announce by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA)in the month of July as listed out in our section on updates and amendments. Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has also issued new circulars and updates during July, significant ones being        1) Amendment to definition of Qualified Foreign Investor (QFI), 2) Qualified Foreign Investors (QFI) allowed to invest in Indian Corporate Debt securities and debt schemes of Indian mutual SEBI by opening a demat account with a qualified Depository Participant. 3)  Comprehensive guidelines on Offer for sale (OFS) of shares by promoters through the Stock Exchange Mechanism 4) Amended the listing Agreement in order to implement the process of e- voting. The detailed circulars of SEBI can be viewed in our SEBI Updates. And of course the most happening event the world is now witnessing –30th Summer Olympics Game which was declared open by Queen Elizabeth II amidst the sparkling fireworks. The games, which will conclude on 12 August 2012, will see nearly 10500 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees participating in as many as 26 sports events. Let us all cheer for our Indian Contingent and hope and pray that we can bag a few medallions.   CS. Rashida Adenwala  
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