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India

Basic Information

Area: 3,287,590 km²

Calling code: +91

Population: 1,132,446,000

Official Language: Hindi, English

Time zone: IST (UTC+5:30), Local time: 15:28

Overview

The Republic of India is located in South Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea to the east and the Bay of Bengal to the west. It neighbours six other countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China, Nepal and Pakistan. India is the 7th largest country in the world, with territory that spans 3.28 million km2, 10% of which is water. It is the 2nd most heavily populated area in the world after China, with 1.17 billion inhabitants, 71% of which live in rural areas.

The capital city of New Delhi is located in Northern India and covers just 42km2, with a population of 14 million, while the most populated city is Mumbai, which is home to 14 million people. Cities with a population of over 3 million include Bangalore, Calcutta, Madras, Hyderabad, Pune, Surat and Kanpur. India is divided into 28 states and 7 union territories which are further broken down into administrative districts, tehsils and villages.

India is a member of many international organizations, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United Nations (UN), and the Group of Twenty (G-20). The currency used is the Indian rupee (INR).

Economy

Despite employing just a third of the workforce, the service sector is by far the most important in the country, generating 62% of the total GDP of $1.09 trillion. Information technology, telecommunications, banking and software are the most prominent sectors, and the Black Book of Outsourcing ranks India as the second best outsourcing country in the world, thanks to its large educated and English speaking workforce, and low labour costs. Mumbai is considered to be the economic capital of India, and it is home to many of the countries largest companies.

One fifth of the GDP is contributed by industry, with textiles accounting for over a quarter of all exported manufactured products. Other important industrial sectors include the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, transport equipment, machinery and cement.

Agriculture employs over half the total labour-force, and contributes 17.5% to the GDP. India is the world’s largest producer of coconuts, tea, milk, ginger and black pepper, and it exports 10% of the world’s total fruit production. Popular agricultural products include wheat, rice, oilseed, tobacco, sugarcane, lentils, onion and potatoes. India’s population is increasing rapidly, and erratic monsoons and weather patterns make it hard to produce the amount needed for self sufficiency, thus food imports are required.

Infrastructure

India has an extensive transportation infrastructure, which includes the 4th longest railway network in the world, with 64,015 km of track. The country remains heavily dependant on road transportation, with the roads carrying 80% of all passenger traffic and 65% of all freight. India has the 3rd largest amount of roadways in the world, and the highest land density of roads in the world, with 0.66km of highway for every 1km2 of land.

There are 348 airports operating within the country, the largest being Indira Gandhi International Airport, which handles over 25 million passengers annually; Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is the countries second busiest airport, and together they carry over half of all air passenger traffic in South Asia. Most of the larger cities offer frequent international flights to Asia, Europe and the America’s.

Over 95% of all foreign trade by quantity is imported and exported from 12 of the countries largest ports: Kolkata (including Haldia), Paradip, Vishakapatnam, Ennore, Chennai, Tuticorin, Kochi, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Navi Mumbai, Mumbai and Kandla. India owns a total of 501 merchant marine, which include a fleet of bulk and cargo carriers, chemical tankers and passenger cruise ships.

Workforce

India has the second largest labour-force in the world, with a total of 467 million workers. The largest sector based on the workforce size is agriculture, which employs 52% of all workers, the remaining 34% work in the service sector, and 14% in industry. The official primary language in India is Hindi, while English is spoken by over 1 billion people, and is a recognised second language.

The education infrastructure has developed dramatically over recent years; an increase in funding from the government has allowed more of the population to access educational facilities. The education system is overseen by both the union government and each individual state, this produces varied literacy rates, with Kerala having a 90% literacy rate, which is the highest figure in the country. India has over 330 higher education institutes, 3 of which are listed in the Times Higher Education list of the world’s top 200 universities.

Business Costs

India has favourable business costs, including low labour rates and taxes. Rental rates are low throughout most areas of the country, however Mumbai CBD has experienced a rapid rise in rental costs, and now has the 5th highest rental rates in the world, after Tokyo, London (West-End), Hong Kong and Dubai (DIFC).

Personal taxes work an a tiered scale that ranges from 0% for those earning less than 160,000 INR per annum, to 30% for all individuals earning over 500,001 INR per annum. India currently has an additional education tax (CESS), which is charged at 3% on all income. There are different corporate tax rates depending on the ownership of the business, with local companies subject to a 30% tax, while foreign owned companies are required to pay a higher 40% tax rate. Corporations are also charged the 3% education tax. A 12.5% value added tax rate is charged on most goods and services.

Labour costs are extremely low throughout the country in comparison to the Western world. India follows a minimum wage act that ensures legal employees earn at least 100RS per day, which is the equivalent of £1.46 a day. India’s GDP per capita (PPP) figure has increased by 9% over the past three years, and now stands at $3,100.
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