ALSO READPM launches Saubhagya scheme to provide 24x7 electricity to poor by 2019 Modi promises to light up all homes by December 2018 with Rs 16000-cr scheme PM Modi launches UDAN scheme from Shimla; now fly to Himachal for Rs 2,000 Modi to flag off first Udan flight from Shimla: What is the RCS scheme? Modi's ambitious Udan scheme needs transparent costing
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched a Rs 16,000-crore scheme to light up 40 million homes with power connections free for the poor and at very low cost for others by December 2018. According to reports, more fiscal incentives are being worked out by the government for exporters.
These stimulus measures are welcome developments for both the economy and the markets. Such fiscal measures helped to a large extent the Indian economy after Lehman crisis – at that time, when many comparable economies posted de-growth in gross domestic product (GDP) on a quarterly basis, the Indian economy avoided such de-growth, thanks to inherent strength of the domestic demand and also massive stimulus measures.
Some experts attribute Monday's fall in the markets to these stimulus packages. Rarely is a market fall attributed to the timely exit of smart investors from equities at super-rich valuations. Mostly, such falls are attributed to political and other macro developments! Even before goods and servies tax (GST) Bill implementation and demonetisation, the growth in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) was very low.
India, in my view, is facing structural issues of growth, which has peaked in the information technology (IT), pharma and telecom sectors, which have created jobs, income and wealth in the last two decades. A spurt in asset prices has killed growth in the construction sector. Inherited non-performing assets (NPAs) have crashed credit growth in the banking system. This is time to take help from the thoughts of John Maynard Keynes – opt for more stimulus measures and revive the industrial economy.
As regards markets, we believe that the meltdown in the small-and mid-cap space is not over yet. The overall market cap of BSE-listed stocks fell by about Rs 5 lakh crore from its peak of close to Rs 137 lakh crore. However, it is still higher than the level we had seen in early 2015, when the Sensex was around 30,000. In such times, investors should focus on stocks with appealing valuations and have a tilt towards defensive sectors, such as IT.
The author is founder & managing director, Equinomics Research & Advisory. Views expressed are personal. They do not reflect the view/s of Business Standard