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updated on 31 Dec 2016
How these three 2016 decisions will impact 2017
It is the end of 2016, or is it? There are no permanent ends or beginnings. Calendars are our ways to measure continuous time. 2016 will leave a lot of unfinished business for 2017 or keep haunting it.
Here are the phenomena from 2016 that are set to define what 2017 would be like:
You will not forget the 8th November of 2016.
2016 laid a mega claim to 2017 by the year-end government decision of demonetisation. The whole of 2017 economy will be an after-effect of 2016 as demonetisation is likely to hit growth for the next three quarters and affect businesses.
Though the government says the shortage of currency would be over with the passing year and growth would be hit only in the short term, demonetisation will influence economy and lifestyles in profound ways, many yet unforeseeable.
2017 can see a revolution in digital payments with a large chunk of population expected to reduce use of currency. Cash-aversion can increase online sales. Real estate will plummet and builders will focus more on affordable homes. Flush with extra revenues, the government can do big-time social spending, boosting demand. Life in 2017, in several important ways, will be about demonetisation.
With a few GST Bills still pending in parliament, the biggest tax reform of India will be a major unfinished business from 2016. If the government is able to meet the April 1 deadline, 2017 will be about GST even though substantial impact will be seen in two years. A single market would cut logistics cost, increase tax revenue and raise inflation in the short term.
With no consensus on sharing of administrative powers and states now worried over demonetisation impacting their revenues, 2017 will decide the final shape of GST.
Reliance Jio's disruptive entry into telecom has upset rivals but it is more significant than that. Jio's free plan is going to connect a large number of people at the lowest economic levels creating a vast digital market.
With Jio tapping the unreached in 2017 and its rivals competing for that segment, they could end up creating enabling conditions for digital payments industry as well as better governance at the grassroots level. A fiercely competitive telecom market in 2017 can connect India into one digital market.
Donald Trump as the US president comes at a time when India is seeking closer ties with the US. Trump's chemistry with Prime Minister Narendra Modi is surely going to reconfigure India's diplomatic strategy, especially in the subcontinent and with regard to China.
2017 will see how Trump's visa policies impact Indian IT business. Trump has promised to reduce the US corporate tax rate from 35 to 15 per cent. This could lead to several American companies rushing back to the US, hitting the Make in India programme.
Trump's threat to impose heavy tariffs on China and his general hard stance towards will be favourable for Indian companies. 2017 will show how the new warmth in Indo-US ties will impact India in various spheres.