1. "Prospects for Improving Production of Used Cooking Oil Based Biodiesel" - Nirupama Soundararajan & Dnyanada Palkar

    The Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) has been working on the development of production modes of biofuels like used cooking oil (UCO) based biodiesel. This dovetails with the National Biofuels Policy’s (2018) focus on stepping up production and adoption of biofuels. Pahle India Foundation has undertaken a study to assess the current status of biodiesel production in India, a detailed stakeholder and value chain mapping of sources, availability, and logistics of UCO, price build-up for UCO based biodiesel, and market for by-products of the biodiesel production process. The analysis is aimed at providing policy direction to support IOCL’s mandate on biofuels to achieve the target of 5 per cent biodiesel blending by 2030.

  2. "Reforms Required to Spur Investment in Mobility" - Chidambaran G Iyer, Kannan Kumar, Shagun Khurana

    Under the mobility theme, this tries to understand mulitple issues. PPP in Metro rail; value addition in Electric vehicles, investments and value addition in Li-ion battery manufacturing segment, and the investments in the Hydrogen fuel cell segment in the country are the broad issues that this study tries to cover.

  3. "Achieving Trade Competitiveness Through Air Express" - Nirupama Soundararajan

    India ranks 35 in Logistics Performance Index (LPI), compared to China at 27, Taiwan at 25, and Japan at 12[1]. India’s merchandise trade to GDP ratio was 38.5 per cent in 2014 and 31.8 per cent in 2015, reflecting a high cohesion with the global economy. Global trade has burgeoned, by leveraging technology and air express for just in time manufacturing and time bound delivery. Air express not only allows companies to expand their trade footprint irrespective of geographical constraints, it also ensures customer satisfaction through high speed product services.. However, in the absence of a conducive regulatory framework, it would not be possible for the industry to meet the desired goals and become globally competitive. Regulatory challenges involve complex customs processes, limited automation, absence of an end-to-end air express policy, and approval from multiple ministries. Against this backdrop, it is imperative to deliberate solutions and potential policy support that would make the Indian air express industry globally competitive.

  4. "Ensuring Welfare Through- Meal Cards in India " - Nirupama Soundararajan and Arindam Goswami

    In the Indian context, meal cards (commonly known as meal vouchers) have played a positive role in multiple ways. First, the meal card have played a positive role in extending social benefits to employees by improving the supply chain for meal services. Second, the meal card has also helped the Government by the collection of additional indirect taxes in the meal card value chain through participating outlets. The meal card programme further had a positive impact by transformation of informal economy into formal economy in the restaurants/eatery sector. Despite this, the benefits of MV have been rather understated and is merely treated as a fiscal incentive for employees with a fiscal limit of INR 50 per meal that was set in 2001. This study would attempt to quantify the value gains of MVs through the use of extensive secondary data and structured interviews with employers, employees, merchants and other significant players in the value system.

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  5. "Developing a Comprehensive Tourism Policy for Arunachal Pradesh" - Nirupama Soundararajan, Arindam Goswami and Anupam Hazarika

    Tourism is one of the largest and fastest growing sectors in the world economy, and the economic achievements of tourism are significant. Tourism plays a key role in global economic activity, job creation, export revenue and domestic value addition, and directly contributes to a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), employment rate and other allied industries. Over the years, the tourist footfall in Northeast India has grown only marginally and the individual growth of Arunachal Pradesh’s tourism is negligible. The share of tourism of Arunachal Pradesh to total northeast tourism has risen marginally from 3.77 per cent in 2009 to 4.65 per cent in 2017. Pahle India Foundation along with the help of Department of Tourism (Government of Arunachal Pradesh) aims to draft a tourism policy that is dynamic, inclusive, and sustainable and contributes to developing livelihood, creating employment, value creation for business and develop a unique identity for Arunachal Pradesh as a tourist destination.

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  6. "Reviewing the Regulatory Framework for the Direct Selling Companies in India" - Nirupama Soundararajan and Arindam Goswami

    In spite of a steady growth and a steadier contribution to the economy, the direct selling industry is often misunderstood and criticised for exploiting customer’s naiveté. In fact, lack of understanding of business operation, particularly among law enforcement agencies, have culminated in initiating legal proceedings against many legitimate direct sellers. Apart from this, various other factors such as lack of regulations in the industry, lack of clarity of the business model among public, and existence of too many fly by night operators had time and again pulled back the industry’s growth. In 2016 the Department of Consumer Affairs (Government of India) issued Direct Selling Guidelines which was expected to bring clarity and transparency in regulation of direct selling. Despite of this, the industry still have to prove its legitimacy from time to time. This study aims to understand the regulatory challenges that besiege the industry today and steps that can be taken to make the sector more competitive so that the potential of the sector can be channelised for the growth of the economy.
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  7. " An Integrated Value Chain Approach to Ease of Doing Business in India : A Case Study of Sugar, Alco-Bev, and Tourism" - Nirupama Soundararajan, Shagun Khurana, Anupam Hazarika and Gunja Kapoor

    The private sector and government are cornerstones of an economy that cannot exist in isolation. While advocating complete control to private sector would result in inequitable social matrix, excessive regulations bear the risk of adversely impacting ease of business. We need to strike a fine balance by making smart regulations that would create a conducive business environment, and at the same time, provide adequate protection to consumers and other societal participants. A predictable regulatory environment and effective business regulations are critical for market development and businesses to thrive. This report examines the interlinkages between three different sectors i.e. alco-beverage industry, tourism and sugar business and makes a case on how ease of doing business in one would have domino effects on the others.
    The alcoholic beverage industry in India is the third largest in the world by volume, valued at USD 35 billion. A global study undertaken by OECD finds that alcohol consumption in India has risen by 55 per cent over a period of 20 years, from 1992 to 2012. The alcohol industry has been able to carve out a standalone economic importance in today’s India; it generates an estimated INR 16,000 crore per annum for the States’ exchequer. However, on account of high taxes, multiple regulations, and other barriers to operations, the industry growth is stifled. India is specifically one of the world’s most restrictive and complex places for doing business in the alcohol industry. Through a sectoral study on alcoholic beverage industry through the prism of ease of doing business, we aim to understand finer nuances of the industry and recommend measures in order to address the concerns of stakeholders across the industry ecosystem.
    Over the past decade, India has emerged as a preferred destination, globally. As per the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index 2017 of the World Economic Forum, India’s rank improved from 65 in 2013 to 40 in 2017. The tourism sector contributed 9.6 per cent in 2017. Furthermore, foreign exchange earnings from tourism during 2016-17 were USD 2.278 billion as compared to FEEs of USD 1.726 billion during 2015-16 and US$ 1.609 billion in 2014-15. However, despite the high economic importance of the sector, there are certain recurring issues in the context of conducting business in the tourism sector. Tourism and hospitality is a labour-intensive sector. This makes the sector’s role critical in terms of generating local employment. However, high tax regime and complex labour laws at the Centre and State level deter existing businesses from expanding their operations and new businesses from entering the Indian market. For example, GST on the sector’s offerings in India is levied at 18 to 25 per cent, much higher than that at some of the major tourist destinations like Portugal or Spain, where it is below 10 per cent.
    Role of sugar industry in the Indian context is not limited to economic contribution. It provides livelihoods to around 50 million farmers and accounts for around 12 percent of rural employment. However, increase in input costs (sugarcane and milling) coupled with low degree of alignment between sugar prices, industry stakeholders face multiple challenges across the spectrum. We believe the sector provides a spectrum of transformational opportunities, which have the potential to treat the deficiencies and increase the attractiveness of the sector. Appropriate action-oriented approach towards optimizing processes, permissions to maximize opportunities, in consultation within the stakeholders needs to be followed, to arrive at a shared vision for the industry and steps that would eventually fructify the same.
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  8. "Impact of FDI in Urban Mobility: Some insights from Delhi Metro" - Chidambaran G Iyer and Kannan Kumar

    Subsequent to the Delhi Metro, growth in the metro rail segment in the country has literally shot through the roof. Procurements of goods and services for each of the metro projects has generated tremendous opportunities for domestic as well as foreign firms. Work in this project involves a discussion paper that understands the impact of FDI in the metro rail segment in India.
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  9. "Gold Monetisation: Unravelling the Constraints" - Nirupama Soundararajan and Arindam Goswami, April 2017

    The objective of the study is to understand the perceptions of banks and financial institutions around gold as a product and their apprehensions in taking part actively in any monetisation scheme.

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  10. "Digital Inclusion: Moving One Step Closer" - Nirupama Soundararajan and Saurabh Roy, October 2016

    Internet based services are expanding in India at a phenomenal rate. Even government has started digitizing its services which can be availed online. To ensure that services are available to every citizen and no one is left out, the government must look at digital inclusion as a policy. We conducted a survey of low-income people to understand the usage of internet and barriers to adoption. < Download Paper >

  11. "Leapfrogging to a New Lifestyle for Sustainable Prosperity: A Blessing, not a Burden" - Dr. Ramgopal Agarwala, March 2016

    By mid-century (2050), per capita incomes of the majority of developing countries could conceivably have "converged" with those of the advanced (G-7) economies. By the end of the century, there will be nearly 7 billion people in emerging economies with average per capita income conceivably equal to that of the developed countries today. The present population in emerging economies, in particular the middle class, is largely seeking to replicate the same lifestyle that characterizes the advanced economies. Such replication will be unhealthy and place immense pressure on natural resources including land, water and environment. This paper argues that emerging economies should not aim at where the advanced economies are or have been but should leapfrog to sustainable lifestyles that the more enlightened countries are trying to adopt. Such leapfrogging would be in the interests of the developing countries while contributing to global wellbeing. < Download Paper >

  12. "Reforms Needed for Power Sector in India" - Rajnish Ahuja, November 2015

    The objective of this report is to address the issue of lowering the cost of energy to all electricity users and thus making the India's economy more competitive consistent with the need of meeting the full cost of production and distribution of power and providing adequate supply of power. The final cost can be lowered by aiming at reforms for the production and distribution companies, improved coal supply at reasonable prices, and improved financing for power projects. For improved supply, availability of coal and other raw materials has to be improved and development of renewables such as wind and solar power has to be accelerated. < Download Discussion Paper >

  13. "Computing the Socio-Economic Value Addition of FDI in the E-Commerce Sector" - Nirupama Soundararajan and Nibedita Saha, November 2015

    India’s retail sector has seen many developments in the last two decades. From a market that had been largely dominated by small traders/kirana stores, India has seen the growth of organised retail and recently, the growth of e-commerce, both Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer(B2C). While in most countries, these are but different models of the same business (of e-commerce), in India these classifications have different ramifications vis-a-vis foreign direct investment (FDI) participation and policy constraints. In order to understand the full power of the e-commerce sector and specifically the merits of allowing FDI in the B2C segment, this study conducted a detailed primary survey of kirana stores and of the MSME sector. The objective of the study is also to examine some of the common perceptions expressed by stakeholders, specifically, if FDI in e-commerce has resulted in the decline of turnover and/or profit for the traders, and if e-commerce has had any positive impact on the manufacturing sector. < Download Report > < Media Coverage >

  14. "Meal Voucher System in India & Its Fiscal Impact" - Rajnish Ahuja and Nibedita Saha, April 2015

    Meal Vouchers have been important tools in ensuring the social well-being of employees for six decades in the world and for two decades in India. Meal Vouchers form an integral part of modern day work facilities usually replacing office run canteens and thereby eliminating the need for a dedicated canteen area. International experience suggests that Meal Vouchers prove to be efficient in promoting preventive health measures by providing access to restaurants that accept these vouchers and offer healthy and affordable food.

    Pahle India initiated this report aiming at analysing the benefits of the Meal Voucher system in India and calculating its macro-economic effects on the national economy, such as the increase of the national budget revenues through improved tax collection. < Download Discussion Paper >

  15. "Development Plan for Nizamabad Lok Sabha Constituency (Telangana)" - For Ms. K Kavitha, Hon'ble Member of Parliament. Undertaken Rajan Kalsotra, April 2015
  16. "Defence Exports – The Way Forward" - Approach Paper Nitin Gokhale, March 2015
  17. "Make in India in Defence – An Approach Paper" - Nitin Gokhale, February 2015
  18. "Analysis of Centrally Sponsored Schemes and other Legislative Assistance" - Sujoy Mammen Thomas Prepared for Ms. K Kavitha, Hon'ble Member of Parliament, December 2014
  19. "Indo – Vietnam Ties: The Way Forward" - Nibedita Saha, October 2014

    As a curtain raiser to the visit of the Prime Minister of Vietnam on October, 2014, PIF had organised a round-table discussion on 'India-Vietnam Co-operation in Emerging Asia'. The discussion was enriched by the active participation of some of the most experienced and renowned experts on Indo-Vietnamese relations ranging from retired diplomats, defence personnel, faculty from leading think tanks and academia, research scholars and media. The major recommendations that emanated from the discussion to strengthen the bilateral relation to contribute to the peace, stability and development in the Asia-Pacific region are improving connectivity, diversifying Vietnam's export basket to India, increasing FDI flows from India to Vietnam, laying special emphasis of religious tourism, defence co-operation and maritime security and improving legal framework between the two countries to promote trade and business. < Download Report >

  20. "Approach paper for covering broad aspects of Rajasthan's Vision 2020" - Dr. Ramgopal Agarwala with Rajnish Ahuja, AakritiChaudhari, Nibedita Saha and Rajan Kalsotra. Commissioned study for State Planning Board, Government of Rajasthan, August 2014

    The Approach Paper presents broad directions of where the leadership wants the State to go in different sectors. The Vision has been presented largely in bullet form with most of the propositions made in each sector targeting at economic growth in a sustainable manner.

  21. "The middle classes and democracy in India – exit, voice and loyalty" - Dr. Rajiv Kumar Presented at Nairobi, Kenya as part of "Exit, Voice and Loyalty, Middle Class and Democracy in IBSA countries", January 2014
  22. "Current trends in the housing finance sector and projections in 2025 and the current market share and future projections of DHFL housing finance company" - Sujoy Mammen Thomas, January 2014
  23. "Chronic Slowflation in India: Is There a Way out?" - Ramgopal Agarwala, Dr Rajiv Kumar and Nibedita Saha, November 2013
  1. “A Digital Era for Gold ” – Nirupama Soundararajan & Arindam Goswami

    The Government of India has been emphasising on the need to bring transparency in transaction in the gems and jewellery sector and fairness in gold dealings. The government’s announcements to establish a bullion spot exchange and a Gold Policy for the country show the positive intent of the government in this regard. Our survey based research study aims to find ways in which cash dealings, among consumers and the whole gold value chain, can be reduced and what impact it may have on the gems and jewellery sector. At the same time, the study will also look to understand the reasons for the limited uptake of gold backed or gold based investment products among retail investors and what would prompt more people to take up such investment instead of investing in physical gold.

  2. “White Paper on Role of E-commerce in Make in India and Aatma Nirbhar Bharat ” – Nirupama Soundararajan & Arindam Goswami

    E-commerce has drastically transformed the way business is undertaken in India. Rising smartphone penetration, 4G networks and increasing consumer wealth would propel the Indian e-commerce market to probably grow up to USD 200 billion by 2026. The current government’s push towards “Make in India” which aims to increase domestic production, exports, and building suitable infrastructure to sustain a robust growth in manufacturing and the “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat” initiative which focuses on self-reliance, that is also built on the edifice of domestic manufacturing capability can be well channelised through e-commerce, especially by providing broader market access and timely market information to the MSME sector. The paper will examine the impact that e-commerce has already had on MSME market reach and draw out the potential of the e-commerce in further bolstering India’s domestic manufacturing and exports by and identify policy hurdles.