The last three weeks, October 24 to November 9, were truly the most eventful period of 2016.
USA voted itself a new President! Is a Republican US president better than a Democrat one for India? Will US free trade policies be abandoned and India lose some technology and outsourcing jobs? The US is the largest market for India's software services outsourcing sector. If US corporate tax rate is reduced from 35 to 15 percent, would the American companies rush back to the US, impacting our Make in India initiative? Will we get our expected sub-10 percent growth in FY 2017? Or initially at least, will India be spared, while the new administration tackles our neighbors first?
India demonetized its 500 and 1000 currency notes! Are we going to witness a significant change in the payment habits of a billion people and transition into a cashless, digital economy? This move could accelerate economic growth through the digital pipes of e-commerce and m-banking. It will make larger revenues available to the government in the form of income tax collections to fund infrastructure growth. The industry players could well focus on bringing mobile-based payment solutions to the consumer.
The GST Council finalized four slabs, 5, 12, 18, and 28 percent, at which various goods will be taxed! Will the GST Amendment merely be a name changer, rather than the envisaged game-changer? Will it not be able to make enough of a difference to India's absurdly complex tax system to shift the country's growth trajectory? At the moment, it seems that the number of rates may end up being closer to seven or eight. This is not exactly the sort of simplicity that the GST promised to bring.
Ratan Tata ousted former chairman, Cyrus Mistry! Would this change the Tata group's stance over the payment of USD 1.17 billion arbitration with Japanese major NTT DoCoMo? Is an out-of-court settlement likely now?
These events can by no means be undermined. Their impact on the Indian economy and the telecom, enterprise network, and IT sectors will only unfold with time.