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25 Aug, 2017

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25 August 2017

Privacy is a fundamental right of the Citizens – Supreme Court ruled

Privacy as a fundamental right will boost trust in digital services: Nasscom

The Supreme Court’s decision to declare privacy as a fundamental right will enhance citizens’ trust in digital services and help in their wider adoption, IT industry body Nasscom said on Thursday.

In a landmark decision, a nine-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J.S. Khehar has ruled that “right to privacy is an intrinsic part of right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 and entire Part III of the Constitution”.

Nasscom president R. Chandrashekhar said the ruling also “significantly boosts India’s attractiveness as a safe destination for global sourcing”. It will ensure that protection of citizen’s privacy is a “cardinal principle” in India’s growing digital economy, he said. Citizen’s trust in digital services is a prerequisite for widespread digital adoption, he noted.

With falling data and smartphone costs, adoption of digital services has seen a manifold growth in the country.

However, concerns around security of the user data has also emerged as a matter of debate, particularly with reference to Aadhaar. Rama Vedashree, CEO of the data security council of India (DSCI)—a part of Nasscom—said the body has always advocated for a stronger data security regime in the country.

 

 

 

The government push to establish a comprehensive biometric identification system, “Aadhaar” system is an effort by the Indian government to route huge segments of the population’s financial life through a digital identification system that supporters hope will improve security, stem corruption and enhance access to financial and welfare services. Critics of the plan — which has shifted from voluntary to mandatory — worry that sensitive personal data could be put at risk. The Supreme Court’s decision overturns two previous rulings that privacy was not a fundamental right.

 

 

President Donald Trump singled out Pakistan

In the Monday’s speech on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, suggesting that U.S. aid to the country could be jeopardized if Pakistan does not work more aggressively to stamp out terrorist safe havens. “Pakistan has much to gain from with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists,” Trump said. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson elaborated: “We have some leverage that’s been discussed in terms of the amount of aid and military assistance we give them, their status as a non-NATO alliance partner. All of that can be put on the table,” Tillerson said in Washington, D.C. The U.S. government plans to send more than $742 million in foreign assistance to Pakistan in FY 2017. As part of our Rise of Chinese Aid series, US looked into Pakistan’s $100 Billion deal with China.

 

The New Development Bank — or “BRICS bank” — opened 

BRICK Bank opened,  its first regional office, an Africa Regional Center in Johannesburg, South Africa. “The ARC will be the face of the NDB in Africa. It will progressively undertake a growing range of the bank’s work, beginning with project identification and preparation,” said NDB President K. V. Kamath at the agreement signing ceremony, which South African President Jacob Zuma attended. The new center will focus on identifying and preparing infrastructure and development projects in South Africa, according to an NDB press release. The NDB’s Board of Directors has so far approved seven projects in the bank’s member states, focused on renewable energy and transportation.


 

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana

 

August 24, 2017

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the renaming of the new Central Sector Scheme – SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) as “Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY) ” for the period of 2016-20 coterminous with the 14th Finance Commission cycle. Earlier, CCEA in its meeting held in May, 2017 approved the new Central Sector Scheme – SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) with same allocation and period .

 

Objective:

The objective of PMKSY is to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease Agri-Waste.

 

Financial Allocation:

PMKSY with an allocation of Rs. 6,000 crore is expected to leverage investment of Rs. 31,400 crore, handling of 334 lakh MT agro-produce valuing Rs. 1,04,125 crore, benefit 20 lakh farmers and generate 5,30,500 direct/ indirect employment in the country by the year 2019-20.

 

Impact: 

  • The implementation of PMKSY will result in creation of modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlet.
  • It will provide a big boost to the growth of food processing sector in the country.
  • It will help in providing better prices to farmers and is a big step towards doubling of farmers’ income.
  • It will create huge employment opportunities especially in the rural areas.
  • It will also help in reducing wastage of agricultural produce, increasing the processing level, availability of safe and convenient processed foods at affordable price to consumers and enhancing the export of the processed foods.

Measures to give a boost to Food Processing Sector:

Food Processing Sector has emerged as an important segment of the Indian economy in terms of its contribution to GDP, employment and investment. During 2015-16, the sector constituted as much as 9.1 and 8.6 per cent of GVA in Manufacturing and Agriculture sector respectively.

The manifesto of NDA Government stresses upon incentivizing the setting up of food processing industry for providing better income for the farmers and creating jobs.

 

Background:

PMKSY is an umbrella scheme incorporating ongoing schemes of the Ministry like Mega Food Parks, Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure, Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure, etc. and also new schemes like Infrastructure for Agro-processing Clusters, Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages, Creation / Expansion of Food Processing & Preservation Capacities.


 

Rs 200 note declared legal tender – RBI to decide on circulation

August 24, 2017

 

The finance ministry on Wednesday notified the issue of Rs 200 notes, making them legal tender and paving the way for their circulation.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 24 of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, and on the recommendations of the central board of directors of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the central government hereby specifies the denomination of banknotes of the value of two hundred rupees,” the notification stated in the Gazette of India.

 

Finance minister Arun Jaitley said RBI will decide the date for issuing the new Rs 200 notes.

 

RBI had on 18 August announced that a new Rs 50 note will be issued shortly under the Mahatma Gandhi series, while notes issued under the earlier series will remain legal tender.

 

RBI data shows that currency in circulation stood at Rs 15.70 trillion as on 11 August, over nine months after demonetisation. This is about 88.70% of the Rs 17.7 trillion that was in circulation on 4 November 2016.

Introduction of a Rs 200 note will fill in the “missing middle”, State Bank of India (SBI) said in a report in July. The report had noted that though there has been a significant move towards shifting distribution of currency to smaller denominations post demonetisation, there is a mismatch caused by the presence of Rs 2000 notes right after Rs 500 notes.


Economy

Deutsche Bank:

India is one of fastest growing economies in the world

India’s growth momentum will get stronger with revival in private investment cycle and real GDP growth is expected to average at about 7.4 per cent over 2017 and 2018, as per a Deutsche Bank report.

It said the global economy post the 2008 global financial crisis (GFC) has adjusted to a new-normal of low-growth low- inflation environment, and India’s growth achievement should therefore be judged taking this structural shift into consideration.

“In the current new normal, an economy which delivers a steady 7.5-8.0 per cent growth in real terms should be comparable to 9-10 per cent growth in the pre-GFC period, in our view,” – Deutsche Bank report

According to the global financial services major, the country’s growth momentum will only get stronger as private investment cycle starts reviving gradually, along with continuation of strong private consumption.

The medium-term outlook for the country looks “exceedingly positive” driven by supportive population dynamics, steadily rising aspirational middle class and a reforms oriented government, it said.


India one of the most open economies globally for FDI

Survey

India has now emerged as one of the most open economies in the world for receiving FDI, on the back of a host of liberalisation measures, the Economic Survey said today. It pointed out that measures taken by the government have resulted in FDI equity inflow of 43.4 billion USD in 2016-17, which is not only an increase of 8 per cent over the previous year, but also the highest ever.

The mid-year Survey of the economy described foreign direct investment (FDI) as an enabler of economic growth since it enhances productivity by bringing capital, skills and technology to the host country.

“In 2016, the government has brought most of the sectors under the automatic approval route, except a small negative list comprising atomic energy, manufacture of cigars and tobacco, real estate business, lottery, gambling and chit fund etc. With these changes, India is now one of the most open economies in the world for FDI,” said the Survey tabled in Parliament today.

In terms of the sectors receiving FDI equity inflows, Services (finance, banking, insurance etc.) sector received the highest (19.9 per cent) followed by telecommunications (12.8 per cent) and computer software and hardware (8.4 per cent), the Survey added.

Mauritius, Singapore and Japan have been top three source countries of FDI inflows to India contributing 36.2 per cent, 20 per cent and 10.8 per cent, respectively, during 2016-17, according to the Survey.


Indian CEOs optimistic about economic growth outlook

KPMG Report

Indian CEOs are confident about the growth prospects of the country over the next three years, compared to that of global economy, according to a KPMG report.

Besides, more than half of the respondents believe their organisation will be completely transformed in the next three years, the report said.

Further, they believe technology will be one of the top factors impacting growth of their organisations in the next three years. Yet 53 per cent respondents are struggling to keep pace with the rate of technological innovation in their sectors.

According to the KPMG CEO Outlook, based on the inputs of over 130 Indian CEOs in navigating an increasingly complex and highly dynamic business ecosystem, 88% of CEOs believe in better growth prospects for India compared to that of global economy in medium term.

 

Overall geopolitical uncertainties in the global economy and growing instances of protectionism, especially in the West, have probably contributed to a dip in the confidence towards the global economy, the report noted.

About 84% CEOs surveyed are planning to invest significantly in cyber security over the next three years. However, last year, cyber security did not appear in the top five priorities for Indian CEOs.

 

“CEOs now wish to be more strategic about their spend on cyber, as one in every two CEOs say they need to become smarter in tracking the impact of related investments in cyber on the overall organisation,” the report noted.

“In this year findings, Indian CEOs have mentioned that in the face of new challenges and uncertainties, they are now feeling urgency to Disrupt and Grow.

 

“Similar to last year, more than half the CEOs expect that organisation to be transformed into a significantly different entity over the next three years,”

Arun Kumar,

Chairman and CEO,

KPMG India

 

“Majority of the CEOs are upbeat about the growth of the Indian economy. Optimism about India’s growth is higher than that for the global economy. The CEOs are now willing to build partnerships, collaborate with others and merge or acquire to gain relevant competencies which is a welcoming change,” Kumar said.


‘India’s GDP could rise to about US$ 8 trillion over next 15 yrs”

Niti Aayog

 

India’s GDP could rise to about USD 8 trillion over the next 15 years if the country registers an economic growth of 8 per cent annually and come very close to eliminating abject poverty entirely, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya has said.

 

He said with that level of economic growth, living standards and amenities that are taken for granted in the west will become accessible to a very large part of the population in India in the coming 15 years.

“Today, the Indian economy is among the major economies, the fastest growing economy, it has now left China behind. It grew in real dollars in the last 15 years ending 2016-17 (at) about 9 per cent,” Panagariya said here.

“Once we correct for the exchange rate (changes), in real dollars India’s growth rate in the last 15 years has been about 9 per cent,” he said at an interactive multi-stakeholder panel hosted by India’s Permanent Mission to the UN, the NITI Aayog and think-tank Research and Information System for Developing Countries yesterday.

He added that if one were to “make a very conservative assumption that over the coming 15 years, India would grow eight per cent, (the country s) GDP would rise from 2.3 trillion dollars today to close to about USD 8 trillion,” with an average income of over USD 5,000.

“At that level of income it is not simply that we will be very close to eliminating abject poverty entirely but a large part of the population will be very prosperous,” he said, at the event titled ‘Transforming India: Eradicating Poverty, Promoting Prosperity’.

Participating in the panel along with Panagariya were Columbia University Professor and eminent economist Jagdish Bhagwati, India’s former Permanent Representative to the UN and Chairperson of think-tank Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) Hardeep Singh Puri, Chief Statistician of India TCA Anant and renowned actor Anupam Kher.

“I really think that as you go forward, there is a major transformation waiting to happen in the lives of about 1.3 billion – 1.5 billion people by 2030. That will mean that much greater prosperity for the entire world,” he said.

Panagariya noted that “unfortunately” from 2004 to 2014, reforms in the country came to a standstill.

“Mistakes particularly during 2009 to 2014 actually ended up denting very badly India’s growth process with the growth rate declining from about 8.3 per cent to about six per cent during 2012-13 and 2013-14,” he added.

Panagariya added that currently the Indian economy is on a much more stable path.

There are some of the “legacy issues” such as the non- performing assets of the banks and they are being tackled by the government, he said adding that inflation is down to below two per cent and the government has systematically cut the fiscal deficits.

Listing the “big-item and big ticket reforms” such as the Goods and Services Tax, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Act and the Aadhar Act implemented by the government, Panagariya said the benefits of those reforms are just beginning to happen.

He termed the Goods and Services Tax as a very hard fought reform that required not only a constitutional amendment but several legislations and approval of all 29 states of India.

On the Sustainable Development Goals, Panagariya said India itself has had a major influence on the 17 ambitious global goals and “most of the SDGs mirror India s own national policies”, including the Food Security Act, housing for all, Clean India campaign, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, programme for the girl child.

Panagariya further said that it is “remarkable” that huge leadership for the SDGs is coming from the states in India and from the chief ministers.

“The kind of leadership that has been provided in China by the city mayors is effectively now being provided by the state chief ministers in India,” he said.

Addressing the session, Puri said China has already lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and India too has done quite well recently.

“But for the SDGs to succeed, India has to succeed. If India does not succeed in successfully implementing the SDGs, I am afraid the overall picture for the SDGs is not going to be a good one,” Puri said, adding that it is extremely important that India has taken the task of implementing and achieving the SDGs “frontally and in a comprehensive way”.

He, however, added that progress on education cannot be achieved without the focus on women and girls.

“Gender equality and empowerment of women and girls is an imperative for the SDGs and also an imperative for India,” Puri said.

Kher said India is making changes and progress across sectors and “if we don’t see news channels and if we don’t read newspapers, I discover that today we are really doing amazing things”.

As individuals and citizens of the country, we need to know our responsibility towards the country.

He pointed out that through movies such as the recent Akshay Kumar-starrer ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’ that talks about the problem of open defecation in villages, films are contributing in spreading awareness about crucial issues central to achieving the SDGs.

 

The Swedish newspaper was recently asked it to delete the reference made by President Pranab Mukherjee to the Bofors scam in an interview to it, as a claim protested by the Indian Government on 27 May 2015. India has expressed disappointment over the disrespect shown to the President, the newspaper has defended its right to publish what was said during the interview.

Know, who is Vijay Kelkar and what is PPP !

Vijay Kelkar is a renowned economist and a former Finance Secretary. He was appointed head of newly constituted committee to give recommendations to recast the model of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model in India. India is one of the largest PPP market with over 900 projects. The Kelkar committee will review the PPP policy, suggest a better risk-sharing mechanism between private developers and the government after analysing such projects.

Know, who is Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar !

Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar was crowned as the new Maharaja of of Mysuru (Mysore) royal family. He is the 23-year old grandson of Princess Gayathri Devi, who was the eldest daughter of the last Maharaja of Mysore, Sri Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar. The coronation was held at Mysuru’s famous Amba Vilas Palace, which was decked up for the occasion.

Know about Sepp Blatter!

Swpp Blatter, was re-elected as FIFA president for a fifth term at the 65th Annual Congress of FIFA held at Zurich for four year term.

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan stood against Blatter in this election. It is worth mentioning that FIFA is going through a major controversy regarding corruption in the organisation with two FIFA vice presidents and a recently elected FIFA executive committee member still in custody.

 


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