RSM | News for the day | 21-06-2021

There is an uncertain feeling, that the door to the second surge, is ajar. For the optimistic, in closing phases. The chances of a third lash have not been ruled out. Hopefully the fallout of twice bitten, thrice shy. But regulations need not be relaxed. The Indian mind is both conservative, and liberal. Family and peer pressure prevent untoward roaming around. In larger festivals, the whole family may pack -up in a van for a Holy bath. In a democracy, not all can be chained, because of what is considered an essential belief for salvation to dawn when salvation is to dawn. One can’t say for sure, but it seems to have come earlier for some, and spread a semi-epidemic in a particular area.

The Indian economic mega-container unfortunately hit the tide, just as it was picking knots on the cruise line. While, surge 2.0 control is the primary and basic hurdle, further growth of economy, FII, loans from World Bank, IMF ad other agencies shall depend on how soon we show an upward incline in making our land green.

This is where we ramp-up to electric energy vehicles. There were impressive lectures at the recent EV conclave by the Chief of NITI Aayog, the suave Mr Amitabh Kant, Chief of Nissan, and the Technical Director of India’s largest automotive major, Tata Motors with other competitors were equally impressive.

The here and now action depends on the fact, that 62% of gas consumption is two wheelers. This is where, at a little higher price, the vehicle and a home charger is feasible instantly. Running costs are negligible, and the banks can estimate EMI’s, to get the EV industry started. With 62% of consumption easily convertible, the sedan segment shall take-off as a part of familiarity, and a final audit on the recovery of expenses, over a few years, considering further hardening of oil prices, and maintenance charges. Back-up by grid, hooked to dollar panel fields, is part of the deal. Mumbai buses already run on batteries.

An additional advantage is that Indian two-wheeler segment shall find export avenues, and the quality shall be realized. Those companies that have a holding in foreign brands as Jaguar- Land Rover, will do well to switch soon to EV versions.

The essence of this conversion, at a fast rate, shall achieve the target performance of the “Green Laws”, that shall open-up new of investments in sectors as Steel, Hardware manufacturing, MMSE in component manufacturing in any sector.

The second surge showed that India was wanting in key components and infrastructure. There were not enough oxygen generators, concentrators, ventilators, that is now being ramped up. Importantly, key starting materials as Intermediate Drugs (ID), Active Pharma Ingredients (API), both for pharma and now for vaccines were not available. Surely, the “Atmanirbhar” concept should invest in this, even through partnerships, as gains shall accrue through lower cost of production. The Pharma sector which is arguably the largest generic producer in the world, is capable to profitably run these projects. It should attract sustainable alliances, or the Indian money stacked in Swiss banks, may be given a one- time reprieve, or minimal penalty for infrastructure upgrading and installing.
China (ignoring all political issues) rules entirely on its cheaper costs. Someone must have thought about it long back—from the Han Dynasty, the first to start writing scripts, trading (…BC) to what they still call as “communist” even as the world’s second largest economy, exerting to take the top spot in due course. You don’t see Mao’s posters or placards anymore. Asking them about Human Rights violations is a farce. One can’t be lobbying against a trade partner, that has substantial holding in your treasury, and on whom eighty per cent of your trade depends. Astonishingly, the word “chin” later China is derived from Sanskrit, the Greeks called it “Sien”, thereby meaning “silk”, that later led to the “Silk Route”. So, was “OROB” a revival of historic trading? Not their fault. Otter economies failed to read the T&Cs

A puzzle before global economics is not that some goods are painfully expensive. The other side of the coin is that they are so damn cheap, that they may wipe out local production. The average Chinese actually is pretty comfortable with a life-style and employment he could not imagine earlier. Mr X has the exceptional talent to know the priorities of his people, even how to mould them.

Not swaying from the fact that India, though disproportionate in economic development, is instinctively, and firmly rooted in its democratic ideology.

What may further lead to India’s indispensability in world trade, including a good start in EV, is our IT lead. Instead of harnessing or going by the book on some companies’ I-T returns, perhaps the government needs to give them a longer rope to ramp-up immediate productivity. That, despite its own gains, shall be core to EV of automobiles, here and anywhere else. A carrot, in fact two carrots is what shall make the mare run. Liberalization, taught by our economists has come to mean allowing foreign holdings in Indian businesses, This blissfully misses the first essential step to liberalize home production, more B2B, B2C interactions with a target on rising balance sheets.

The “Licence Raj”, or the way it got its un-enviable name, needs to be pruned to lift up the economy. The GDP, budget deficit are terms between the Fin. Ministry and the RBI. Since they finally have to sign on the same draft, sparring, collusion, and patch-ups are routine between the two bodies.

Despite damage to life, employment, the way forward is ramping the economy through easing out norms of production and trading.

The question of “stimulus “remains, and MS Sitharaman is the best judge. These should be attached to enhanced productivity through cutting down hassles. That becomes a “stimulus” itself.

India needs to invest in basic raw materials for pharma and vaccines. With a robust pharma that supplies to 1.35 bn, and has much to export to the world, an innovative IT that talks of an opening cusp for AI, it is necessary that Indian IT be shown lesser stringency, that productivity, investment across the board may prosper. With cries about improper IT laws, one can smell a danger of hostile holdings, even take-overs or shut-downs. The Union government and Minister, an ace SC lawyer involved, surely are aware of this.

Their application in EV, Healthcare is essential. What you gain from allegedly evaded taxes, is not an answer to the drought in the economy. Their performance even as prime AI innovators, is the harvest we are wating for!