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Decisions on RCEP and Housing are welcome

                   The recent decisions of Government of India on RCEP and Housing Sector are welcome. Both are justified in the interest of our economy. The much discussed and debated Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership ( RCEP) did not take place in Bangkok because of refusal of India to sign it. The Indian concerns were not addressed by China, ASEAN and other RCEP nations. Government was in dilemma whether to go with treaty or not. The total trade deficit with RCEP nations increased to $105 billion by FY 2019. The figures are $54bn with China, $22bn with ASEAN, $12bn with South Korea and $8bn with Japan. India debated strategic gains versus economic concerns and felt that our interests are adverse if signs the treaty as it is. Its concerns are valid from our country's specifics and almost entire political spectrum is united on this approach. Modi's last minute decision in the conference relieved the domestic industry a lot.

 

              But it is not true always keeping us isolated from the integrated global market. It is true that at this stage it will benefit China and our domestic industry's fears are genuine. However, please remember that our domestic industry should become competitive. Protected measures is not the solution to the problem. When other nations products are more qualitative and cheaper compared to our products, we can not expect fast growth in our exports. This protective measure should be temporary. Ultimately, our exports should grow significantly for bigger growth and share in global market. It is possible only with competitive products from us. This stop gap saving of domestic industry should be utilised as an opportunity to make our manufacturing sector develop on par with other countries by investing more on technology and innovation. 


        The second important decision is providing liquidity support in the housing sector. The decision of creating Rs 25000 crores Alternative Investment Fund ( AIF) to provide assistance to 1600 stalled projects with 458,000 housing units is timely measure to the housing sector. These stalled projects which were stuck up at final stages due to various factors like demonetisation, introduction of GST etc will be benefited with this AIF.  Construction activity is second employment generating sector after Agriculture. It boost Cement, Steel, paint, brick, tile, stone industries along with many ancillaries. Around 5 lakh middle class home buyers will benefit from this measure and they will now get a fresh lease of life with hope . Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Finance Minister is trying to address specifically each and every industries real concerns. Hope that this measure will help in revival of demand to certain extent. Both these two decisions by Government is unanimously welcomed by wide spectrum of people ranging from economists, industrialists, entrepreneurs and mainly people connected with them.  
         

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