Economics A to Z: A look back at the outgoing calendar | business | Hindustan Times
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Economics A to Z: A look back at the outgoing calendar

An alphabetical look-back at the year gone by, in which the global economy wobbled in revival mode even as India geared for a new era of growth amid profound technological changes

year ender 2015 Updated: Dec 31, 2015 12:12 IST
HT Business Bureau
Business

A

Arun Jaitley: Indian finance minister who has steered the economy into the world’s fastest growing amid shaky external conditions and an opposition that has blocked key legislations

Alphabet: A holding company that Google has created to oversee its lucrative Internet business and other ventures; co-founder Larry Page is the CEO of Alphabet, while Sergey Brin is the president

B

Bullet train: Trains that can run at speeds of 320 kmph; Japan is set to fund India’s first Rs 98,000-crore bullet train project connecting Mumbai to Ahmedabad

Base rate: The floor rate based on banks’ fund costs. All lending rates are linked to this floor. The Reserve Bank of India has introduced a new system, which will force banks to fully pass on its rate cuts

C

Call drop: A call that gets disconnected due to network glitches; the menace assumed epidemic proportions in 2015 as snapped conversations continue to hurt millions of phone users

Cess: A tax on tax, by definition. In November, the government introduced a cess of 0.5% on services to fund the signature Swachh Bharat programme for modernising India’s sanitation systems

Crude oil: The basic hydrocarbon resource for petrol, diesel and others; its price has plunged to a 11-year low at below $40 a dollar on supply glut and falling demand from a slowing China

D

Diesel: A transport fuel that has had to bear the brunt for sharp rise in vehicular pollution; the Supreme Court has imposed a temporary ban on new registration of diesel vehicles till March

Digital India: An initiative to bridge India’s digital divide, make governance more technology-enabled and public services easily accessible

E

EMIs: Equated monthly installments that finally started coming down in 2015, albeit slowly, following sharp rate cuts by the RBI

Exports: India’s exports have fallen for 12 months in a row hit by plunging shipment orders with many European economies still battling a persistent slowdown

F

FDI: A form of overseas investment that India is trying to attract; the government has recently eased FDI norms for 15 sectors, including defence, broadcasting and construction

Foxconn: Taiwanese technology major Foxconn, which has lined up $20-billion (Rs 1.3 lakh-crore) investment plans for India

G

GST: Goods and Services Tax that seeks to replace a gamut of local levies with a single tax; has remained stuck in Parliament due to lack of political consensus

Gross domestic product (GDP): Total value of goods and services produced in the country; real or inflation-adjusted GDP is forecast to grow at 7-7.5% in 2015-16, down from the earlier estimates of 8.1-8.5%

GMV: Gross merchandise value, effectively value of goods traded annually through online shopping platforms; has become the key metric driving eye-popping valuations of e-commerce start-ups

Gold schemes: A gold “monetisation” scheme and a gold sovereign bond plan launched as part of the government’s plan to channelise idle gold for productive use, wean people away from investing in gold and reduce costly imports

H

H1B Visa: A kind of visa widely used by Indian IT professionals to work in the US. The US House of Representatives recently passed an omnibus bill making hiring of foreign workers on H-1B and L-1 visas substantially expensive

I

Inflation: Rate of change in prices that has remained benign, but could be masking a rising trend in food prices; low inflation, however, has enabled RBI to cut interest rates

Indigo: India’s largest airline by market share that listed on stock markets in a much-awaited initial public offering worth Rs 3,010 crore

J

Janet Yellen: US Fed chief, who finally raised interest rates after successfully overseeing the complete roll-back of QE3 (see QE)amid strong revival signs in the US economy

K

KV Kamath: Former ICICI Bank MD and CEO who was appointed as the first head of the New Development Bank, also called BRICS Bank, a multilateral institution set up by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa

L

Lift off: The act of interest rates rising in the US for the first time since 2006. The US Fed eventually raised rates in December; but it did not ruffle markets much

M

Maggi: Swiss food major Nestle’s popular easy-to-cook snack that was banned on grounds for allegedly containing higher than permissible levels of lead. It was back on the shelves five months later

Monetary policy committee (MPC): A panel empowered to take decisions on interest rates; a proposal that the RBI governor cannot supersede the decisions of the panel had created a stir

Monsoon: Rains during June-September besides bringing relief from summers, are also the life-blood of Asia’s third-largest economy; it failed for the second successive year in 2015

MAT: Minimum alternate tax; a direct tax, restrospective imposition of which led to a sell off by foreign fund houses earlier in the year; the AP Shah panel suggested that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) should be exempted from the purview of MAT

N

NPAs: Non-performing assets or loans that have turned bad. NPAs rose to more than `3 lakh crore mirroring Indian banks’ delicate state

Net neutrality: A principle that treats Internet as a public utility and treats traffic equally. It created a storm amid a growing perception that telcos were against it

O

Onions: A key ingredient in Indian food; it retailed at around Rs 80 a kg in some parts of the country bringing back memories of 2013

P

Pulses: A source of protein for every Indian; its skyrocketing prices became emblematic of India’s food inflation woes after storms and drought hit output

Poverty Line: An income threshold below which families are considered poor. The World Bank has come out with an updated international poverty line of $1.90 a day

Payments Banks: A new class of banks that were granted approval by the RBI; these banks (eleven in total) aim to deepen financial inclusion. They can accept limited deposits but cannot lend

Pay Commission: A panel that suggests new wages for govt employees. The 7th Pay Panel has recommended an average 23.55% increase in pay for 4.8 million staffers and 5.5 million pensioners

Q

QE: A monetary stimulus through which the US central bank pumped in $85 bn per month to revive the US economy; it was rolled back in 2014, setting the stage for interest rate hikes in 2015

R
RuPay: India’s own payment gateway system that is giving tough competition to Visa and Mastercard after the launch of Jan Dhan scheme. About 220 million, or 36% of total debit cards in India are RuPay cards

Recalls: The act of car makers offering a free repair of a faulty system in vehicles; there was high incidence of recalls in India involving GM, Honda and others.

Raghuram Rajan: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor who slashed the key interest rate—repo rate—by 1.25 percentage points in 2015; minced no words in asking banks to pass on full benefits of the rate cuts

RNR: Revenue Neutral Rate or the rate of tax that does not erode states’ and the Centre’s existing revenue levels; an ideal RNR for GST is still being debated between the states and the Centre

S

Sensex: A 30-share benchmark index of the Bombay Stock Exchange, also a barometer of investor sentiments, dipped over 6% this year as US Fed Rate hike hit emerging markets

SECC: Socio-Economic Caste Census 2011, the first comprehensive exercise about rural poverty levels in India; it concluded that the primary breadwinner in 75% households in India’s villages earn less than Rs 5,000 a month

Sports Utility Vehicles or SUVs: A class of vehicles that have been at the receiving end of the battle against pollution; SC has banned registration of SUVs above 2,000cc capacity till March 31.

Sundar Pichai: Chennai-born techie who became the new CEO of internet giant Google, which has taken a new name, Alphabet

Startups: New ventures driven by new entrepreneurs. A Nasscom study says India has the third-highest number of start-ups in the world, behind the US and the UK

Shivinder Mohan Singh: Co-founder of Fortis Healthcare, who gave up his executive role to focus on a spiritual role at Radha Soami Satsang Beas

T

Tax return form: Proposed forms that required the taxpayer to give details of foreign trips, bank accounts, passport and Aadhaar number; rolled back after protests

U

Unicorn: A class of start-ups whose valuation, based on fund-raising, is above $1 billion

V

Volkswagen: The world’s largest car maker was hit by an emissions cheating scandal in 11 million diesel vehicles, over 300,000 in India alone

A measuring tube of an emissions testing device for diesel-powered vehicles is attached to the exhaust pipe of a Volkswagen diesel car in Germany (EPA File Photo)

Vivo: Chinese smartphone maker that replaced PepsiCo as the title sponsor of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket tourney

W

WTO: World Trade Organisation. The global body’s 10th ministerial conference in Nairobi remained deadlocked over protectionism

X

Xiaomi: China’s smartphone maker, in which Ratan Tata acquired a stake, plans to set up a plant in Andhra Pradesh

Y

Yuan: IMF included China’s renminbi or the Yuan as the fifth currency in its elite special drawing rights; the yuan’s devaluation in August sent stock and currency markets diving

Z

Zuckerberg, Mark: Facebook founder and CEO, who visited India and hosted PM Narendra Modi at the Facebook HQ, donated 99% wealth to a welfare fund.

Mark Zuckerberg with PM Narendra Modi before their mee (Reuters File Photo)

Click to read all our year end specials Rewind 2015