The tax proposal, along with a lack of measures to boost the economy in the July 5 budget, led to foreigners withdrawing more than $3 billion from Indian shares, putting pressure on stocks and the rupee.
Financial markets cheered the comments about measures to spur the economy, which came a day after top economic adviser to Modi suggested that a government stimulus for the private sector creates a moral hazard. The S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50, India’s key equity indexes, erased declines and rose as much as 0.5 per cent before paring gains. Rupee reversed losses to advance as much as 0.1 per cent.
Data due next week will probably show India’s gross domestic product expanded 5.6 per cent in the quarter ended June, slower than the 5.8 per cent pace seen in the previous three months. That’s well below the potential 7 per cent-8 per cent pace Bloomberg Economics estimates for the economy.
Weakening growth numbers won’t come as a surprise. Consumer spending on everything from hair oil to cookies have waned as concerns about job losses grow, amid automobile makers shuttering factories temporarily to manage piling inventories. A shadow-banking crisis has also weighed on private consumption, which accounts for almost 60 per cent of the gross domestic product.
Sitharaman had said earlier that FPIs
registered as trusts may consider the option of registering as companies to escape the higher tax. However, the conversion would have required several changes to the tax law.