The last quarter of the Financial Year 2017-2018 i.e. January-March, 2018 has witnessed a number of significant events driven by certain developments at economic, political and regulatory front. Various measures/initiatives introduced through Union Budget 2018-19 corroborate government’s solemnity for the inclusive growth of the nation adopting a holistic approach for empowering diverse sectors of the society.

On 1st February, 2018, Hon’ble Finance Minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley presented NDA government’s last full year budget ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The major focus of the Budget was to strengthen and propel the development of sectors viz., agriculture, rural, education, employment, health, MSME and infrastructure, which are considered to be the strong pillars of a powerful nation for its sustainable growth.

Prudent fiscal management has always been an integral part of the Union Budgets. Continuing its endeavour of efforts towards fiscal reduction and consolidation, the Finance Minister has projected a fiscal deficit of 3.3% of GDP for the year 2018-19 and has also proposed acceptance of the key recommendations of the Fiscal Reform and Budget Management Committee to bring down Central Government’s debt to GDP ratio to 40%. Message from MD & CEO’s Desk 02

The scale of focus towards development of the infrastructure sector signals the magnitude of growth of the economy. Considering infrastructure development entails huge investment requirement, which is in excess of Rs 50 lakh crore, the Finance Minister announced an increase of budgetary allocation on infrastructure for 2018-19 to Rs 5.97 lakh crore against estimated expenditure of Rs 4.94 lakh crore in 2017-18 with an all-time high allocation to rail and road sectors. Here, I would mention that the private players like IFIN, facilitating the successful implementation of the infrastructure projects through innovating infrastructure financing mechanisms, play a substantial role in the accomplishment of the government’s infrastructure development agenda.

Keeping focus on ‘ease of living’ the Affordable housing occupies a significant place in the Budget and the creation of the Affordable Housing Fund will certainly go a long way in easing the funding gap towards achieving the vision of “Housing for all” by 2022.

Overall, the FY’19 Budget is a well-rounded, pragmatic, inclusive growth-oriented budget assimilating the various sectors - industrial and social, which will undoubtedly give a significant push to India’s higher and sustainable economic growth.

The Indian economy has been one of the fastest growing economies of the World. The GDP growth got impacted last year on the backdrop of the implementation of structural reforms viz., demonetization and Goods and Services Tax (GST). As the teething problems of these reforms are getting eased out, there is a rebound in the industrial activity and the significant acceleration in the manufacturing and construction has led to the GDP growth at 7.2% in the third quarter as against the estimated growth of 6.9%. This is a clear indication of a turnaround in the country’s economic growth momentum proclaiming back its status of the world’s fastest growing economies.

In the biannual publication of the World Bank, India Development Update, Mr. Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director of India said “India’s long-term growth has become more steady, stable, diversified and resilient.” Ms. Poonam Gupta, Lead Economist with the World Bank and main author of the said report mentioned while presenting the report - “It would be hard to find another country with such a growth promise and its growth is not just steady, but is steadily accelerating.” The World Bank Report points to macroeconomic stability of the Indian economy and refers to the positive impact of government’s strong determination and various reforms in the Indian economy leading to better governance, and delivery of services and benefits. The rise in GDP growth affirms that with the economic reforms, India’s growth is expected to have a constructive impact on the global growth scenario as well.

During this period, one of the internal important announcements was the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between IFIN and The Jammu & Kashmir Bank Limited (J&K Bank). Under this arrangement, a Joint Venture (JV) is proposed to be conceived between both the Institutions which will undertake the responsibility to support the development, financing and successful implementation of some of the identified hydropower projects in the State of J&K.

This JV will work in close association with The Jammu & Kashmir State Development Power Corporation Limited (JKSDPCL) to put the development of such projects on fast track through EPC or a Public Private Partnership mode. I am sure, this kind of Joint Venture, synergizing the strengths and capabilities of both the Institutions, will be a catalyst for harnessing the hydropower potential of J&K which will lead to huge economic benefits for the State in the form of infrastructure development, industrialization and employment generation.

At IL&FS Group, gender diversity and inclusiveness has been an integral part of its culture. This year, on the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8th March, the celebration was on a different note wherein all the women employees of IL&FS Group came together and took an initiative to help their support staff members by providing them the financial advice, wellness camp facilities etc. This good initiative undertaken by the IL&FS Group in the true sense echoes the culture and ethos being exercised in the Group.

As IFIN has its presence globally, it always endeavours to respect and celebrate cross cultures. Towards this end, on the occasion of Chinese New Year in February, fortunately I had an opportunity to celebrate this event with our Hong Kong office CEO and other team members in Hong Kong. Last but not the least, the fag-end of the Financial Year brings along enormous pressure to achieve the budgeted numbers. I am sure, that all our Business Heads along with their team members will not leave any stone unturned for the successful accomplishment of the targets while remain reinvigorated to take on the new challenges and targets for the next year. Wishing them all the very best for encountering each day as a new challenge and setting new precedents by successfully overcoming them.


Sincerely yours,
Ramesh C Bawa
Managing Director & CEO
IL&FS Financial Services Ltd (IFIN)

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