After trading close to the dotted line in the post noon trading session, the Indian equity markets extended their losses and ended the day in the red. While the BSE-Sensex today closed lower by 137 points, the NSE-Nifty closed lower by 38 points. Even the Smallcaps and Midcaps closed lower with both the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices recording losses of 1.4% and 1.8% respectively.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed on a weak note today. The rupee was trading at Rs 59.7 to the dollar at the time of writing.
As per the Economic Survey of 2014, the Indian economy is expected to pick-up and grow by 5.4% to 5.9% in FY15 despite facing headwinds from poor monsoon and macro-economic conditions. GDP growth had slowed down to a decade's low of below 5% in the past two years. The survey has added that with the global economy expected to recover moderately aided by improved performance in some advanced economies, the Indian economy can look forward for better growth prospects in FY15 and beyond. Economic growth can revert back to 7%-8% level beyond FY16 on the back of measures taken by the government to improve investment climate and governance.
In moving a step closer towards financial inclusion, the government is planning to ask banks to open 200 m bank accounts in a year from this August. The aim is also to provide people access to insurance and pension services. The estimated cost for rolling out the plan is pegged at Rs 17 bn with the aim of having a bank within 5 km of every house by March 2016. A task force will also be set up to monitor this scheme. While the plan appears to be ambitious considering that penetration of financial services in India is low, even if half of the target is met it would be considered as a big achievement. It would be interesting to see how the government performs here.