The Indian Story - A Tale of Resilience and Growth
The Indian Story - A Tale of Resilience and Growth
"In the rapidly changing world order, India is going ahead as 'Vishwa Mitra'. India has given hope to the world that we can decide on common goals and achieve them."
- PM Shri Narendra Modi.
India was ruled by the British for about 200 years until it finally got its independence in 1947. However, this resulted in India plummeting from being one of the wealthiest countries in the world to becoming a struggling economy. In 1700, India's share in the global economy was 22.6%, which dropped to a mere 3.8% in 1952**. The period from 1952 to 1960 saw a growth rate of 3.9%. However, the Indian economy slumped in the 1960s due to the Sino-Indian war in 1962, the India-Pakistan war of 1965-66, and the drought of 1965.

The 70s were marked by a severe devaluation of the Indian rupee by 57%. The late 70s and early 80s were tumultuous not just for India but for the world. In the 80s, the GDP growth rate was 5.7%**, driven by modest liberalisation and government spending. In 1990-91, the Iraq-Kuwait war and the collapse of the Soviet Union impacted trade and current account balances, leading to a Balance-of-Payments (BoP) crisis. To uplift India from the shackles of this crisis, the Indian economy was liberalised and globalised in 1991.

The early 2000s were marked by a sustained upward economic trend. With global growth, the Indian economy too experienced expansion in capital inflows. However, the global financial crisis of 2008 led to the accumulation of bad debts in banks, reaching double-digit percentages. During this period, inflation remained persistent, and the annual depreciation rate of the Indian rupee averaged 5.9%, leading to a stagnation in economic growth**.
The year 2014 was a game-changer for India, for it was the year when the seeds of explosive growth had been sown. With the new government in power in India, it was a year of structural reforms which were highly effective in strengthening macroeconomic fundamentals. In the last decade, India has strengthened its transportation facility and education system, handled a pandemic efficiently, improved local infrastructure, worked towards affordable and wholesome health, helped entrepreneurs, provided basic amenities and improved social security.

This decade, India doubled the number of airports that were built in the first 67 years of independence. Three major railway corridors have also been set up to improve logistics efficiency and reduce costs. Since 2014, 7 IITs, 16 IIITs, 7IIMs, and 15 AIIMS have been set up among new colleges established in India. In STEM courses, women constitute 43% of enrolment, one of the highest in the world. Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, 2.5 crore houses have been constructed for the poor. Under the PM Jan Dhan Yojana, 51.4 crore accounts have been opened, and subscriptions for Atal Pension Yojana have reached 6.1 crore. Under Stand-Up India, 2.1 lakh loans have been sanctioned to aspiring entrepreneurs, out of which 84% were women entrepreneurs**. Now, let's look at how India is expected to perform in the future.
In 2047, India will finish 100 years of independence. The period from now until 2047 is known as the Amrit Kaal. This period is defined as a highly auspicious time associated with good luck, positivity, healthy growth, and high energy. The goal of Amrit Kaal is to build a holistically developed India which is technology-driven and knowledge-based, with modern infrastructure, strong public finances, and a solid financial sector.

In the interim budget disclosed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 1st February 2024, it was announced that to make India 'Viksit' (Developed) by 2047, we need to focus on the upliftment of 4 major areas, i.e. 'Garib' (Poor), 'Annadata' (Farmers), 'Mahilayen' (Women), and 'Yuva' (youth). Moreover, seven priorities will be acting as 'Saptarishi' to guide Amrit Kaal's vision. These 7 priorities are inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure and investment, unleashing the potential, green growth, youth power, and financial sector. Moreover, the country is expected to meet 'Net Zero' emissions by 2070, and the country is fully committed to contributing to attaining all the UN SDGs. To promote tourism in the country, States will be encouraged and empowered to develop iconic tourist sites, hence attracting business and promoting local entrepreneurship. Moreover, long-term interest-free loans will be given to states to promote holistic development.

The coming years in India are expected to exhibit robust growth. The resilience shown by our country during the tough period of Covid-19 is a testament to the strength and potential of our country. Despite facing unprecedented challenges, India demonstrated remarkable adaptability and innovation, leveraging technology and fostering a spirit of unity. The challenges now confronting the growth of India's economy are managing this highly integrated global economy efficiently, handling the geopolitical, technological, fiscal, economic, and social issues, deploying Artificial Intelligence (AI), and ensuring that the workforce is placed appropriately. In the past, India has shown resilience and progress despite risks and uncertainties, and hopefully, through efficient and effective policy measures, it will continue to do so. India now embarks on its Amrit Kaal journey with confidence, trust, and unity to build a prosperous and 'Atmanirbhar' country.

**(Source - The Indian Economy - A Review - Jan 2024), *(Source - IMF, as in 2023)
NJ E-wealth
Buy now & pay later - a boon or bane for consumers?
Buy now & pay later - a boon or bane for consumers?
Few years back, we used to go to nearby stores to buy items like clothing, books, gadgets, and other necessities. However, with the emergence of online marketplaces like Flipkart and Amazon, shopping has become more convenient as we can now access thousands of products at the touch of a button - and at fantastic prices, too! Consumers' purchasing habits are changing, and so are the payment ways. When you shop online at major retailers and stores, you will usually see BNPL payment plans which improve your online shopping experience. BNPL, or buy now pay later, is a new credit scheme that gives consumers the power to purchase a product immediately but pay later in flexible payments.
Most people regard this new credit facility as a boon, owing to its ease of use. Some of the reasons why this payment plan is so appealing are as follows:
  • You get the required amount needed for purchases immediately. BNPL is beneficial for users who do not have a strong credit history and are new as credit borrowers because it allows them to get started without complications. Aside from that, the discipline they demonstrate in repaying the amount contributes to a good credit history record for the future.
  • If the purchase is thoughtful, the consumer has the option to pay for the product over the next few months without having to postpone the purchase.
  • Repayments are made directly through the bank, requiring only a one-time effort to link the bank account and then automated monthly deductions for repayments. While credit cards have many hidden fees, the BNPL scheme's costs are more transparent.
  • BNPL charges a lower interest rate than credit cards. With BNPL, consumers have an interest-free period of 10-30 days to repay the total amount owed without incurring any penalties.
Given the benefits of the BNPL scheme, it is safe to say that, If buy now pay later is used correctly and appropriately, It can become a prominent financial offering in the future.
Like there are two sides to every coin, BNPL also comes with its drawbacks, which are as follows:
  • You get the required amount needed for purchases immediately. BNPL is beneficial for users who do not have a strong credit history and are new as credit borrowers because it allows them to get started without complications. Aside from that, the discipline they demonstrate in repaying the amount contributes to a good credit history record for the future.
  • You can get into trouble if you have multiple BNPL cards and do not use this service carefully. Because the more credit you obtain, the less financially stable you appear, which can hurt your credit score. Therefore always be watchful & limit on the no. of these BNPL credit facilities you avail.
  • It is another payment mode that acts as an additional line of credit, increasing people's debt and repayment schedules. Furthermore, if you default or make late payments consistently or more than once on such services, you may face difficulty obtaining a long-term loan which can question your credibility.
In a nutshell, Millennials and Generation Z will become risky borrowers in the future if they do not stick to their budgets. The bottom line is that it all comes down to responsible spending. In the beginning, you may feel you have it all under control, but it is not necessarily the case in the long run. Your financial future depends on how wisely and carefully you manage your finances with this additional line of credit. We can conclude that the BNPL scheme is a fantastic credit payment option, but only if users understand how to manage and repay the outstanding amount in a timely & systematic manner.
NJ E-wealth
Increase Health Insurance Cover At No Extra Charges
Increase Health Insurance Cover At No Extra Charges
Health insurance in the new era is providing you various kinds of coverages, like OPD coverage, worldwide treatment, no claim bonus, etc.
There are numerous benefits of the No Claim Bonus element in health insurance.

Economical premium: No Claim Bonus lets you enhance the policy to fit all the necessities without worrying about paying the entire premium. This is because you can take advantage of the bonus as a discount on the premium. Thus, you get extensive coverage for any accidental or health emergencies.

Financial protection: While not increasing the premium cost, the No Claim Bonus feature lets you increase the sum insured of your health policy. This helps you get better financial back-up when you need it the most.

Portability: The No Claim Bonus coverage in health insurance is transferable to another insurer - subject to applicable terms & conditions. If you port to another insurance company, in that case, the additional coverage you gained under NCB all these years can be carried forward and will be applicable.
The computation of cumulative bonus coverage under the NCB feature depends on the type of NCB offered by the health policy.

Suppose Mr. Shah has a policy of Rs. 5 lacs and he did not make a claim during the policy year. While renewing the plan, the insurance company offers him an additional coverage of 20%. As a result, the total risk coverage of the policy becomes Rs. 6 lacs for the subsequent policy year.

Suppose he does not make a claim even in the subsequent policy year. In this scenario, the risk coverage will increase to Rs. 7 lacs due to the accumulation of no claim bonus. However, a cumulative bonus usually comes with a limit of 100% or 200% may be even 500%. The additional coverage cannot exceed the said limit. So, for five or ten consecutive claim-free years, Mr. Shah will be eligible for a total risk coverage of up to Rs. 10 Lacs (Base Sum Insured Rs. 5 Lacs and 100% NCB Rs. 5 Lacs).

The policy schedule will state the NCB benefit offered under the policy. It also mentions the bonus amount accrued till now. It also varies from health insurance plan to plan and insurer to insurer.

Guaranteed Cumulative Bonus works the same way as No Claim Bonus, only difference is that this benefit is available irrespective of claims. It means whether you make a claim or not, your risk cover increases every year.
Many insurance companies now provide No Claim Bonus or guaranteed cumulative bonus as an add-on cover.

You can take this add-on by paying a minor extra amount along with your health insurance premium while buying or renewing the health policy. It is recommended that you must understand the benefits/features, read the policy brochure & policy wordings carefully and also evaluate the add-ons based on your needs before buying a new health policy or add-on cover.
NCB is available in both an Individual health plan and a family floater. Under the family floater plans, NCB is applicable provided that any insured member covered under the policy does not make a claim during the policy year.

To summarize, the enhanced insurance coverage gained from a NCB/GCB feature also helps to get the best healthcare facilities without worrying about treatment costs. It is therefore highly advisable to contact an insurance expert or an insurance advisor to know more about the Guaranteed Cumulative Bonus or a NCB benefit before buying/renewing your health insurance policy.
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Fund Manager INTERVIEW
patner Interview
Mr. Harish Krishnan
CO CIO and Head - Equity Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Limited

Yash Shantaram Khanolkar (ARN-250374)

Yash Khanolkar

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"We have taken due care and caution in compilation of this E Newsletter. The information has been obtained from various reliable sources. However it does not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions of the results obtained from the use of such information. Investors should seek proper financial advise regarding the appropriateness of investing in any of the schemes stated, discussed or recommended in this newsletter and should realise that the statements regarding future prospects may or may not realise. Mutual fund investments are subject to market risks. Please read the offer document carefully before investing. Past performance is for indicative purpose only and is not necessarily a guide to the future performance."

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