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Showing posts from October 1, 2014

Economic Survey 2013-14: Highlights

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled the Economic Survey for FY 2013-14 in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, ahead of the Union Budget.

GDP growth seen at 5.4-5.9 pc in 2014/15

Growth rate of 7-8 pc can occur after 2015/16

Poor monsoon, external factors pose risk to growth

Need subsidy reforms for fiscal consolidation

Raise tax-to-GDP ratio for fiscal consolidation

CAD to be contained at 2.1 pc of GDP in 2014-15

Wholesale inflation expected to moderate by end-2014

Retail inflation showing signs of moderation

Reduce spillovers from food to non-food inflation by putting in place a formal monetary policy framework

Contain revenue shortfall via better mobilisation, reforms

Move towards simple tax regime, fewer exemptions, GST rate

Need DTC as clean modern replacement for existing I-T laws

Cutting capital expenditure not good for economy

Changes in tax administration required

Need sharp fiscal correction, new FRBM Act with 'teeth'

Government needs to move towards low and stable inflation through fiscal cons…

First offshore wind power project to come up in Gujarat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message in the US was loud and clear that renewable energy is the way to go, Goyal said. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) Wednesday said it has signed a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture (JV) company for setting up a 100 MW offshore wind power project off the Gujarat coast. The MoU was signed between MNRE, National Institute of Wind Energy and a consortium of partners consisting of NTPC, Power Grid Corp, Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency, Power Finance Corp, Power Trading Corp and Gujarat Power Corporation Ltd. “Considering the country’s 7,600 km coast line, opportunities for scaling up offshore wind power projects are humongous,” said Power and MNRE Minister Piyush Goyal, who was present on the occasion. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message in the US was loud and clear that renewable energy is the way to go, Goyal said. “It dovetails the world’s concerns about climate change and it clearly enhances India’s en…

‘Clean India’ from today, pledge for nation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch a five-year “Clean India” campaign, or Swachh Bharat Mission, on Thursday morning, most likely by wielding the broom himself. The campaign will culminate on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in 2019. The national campaign will be formally launched at the Boat Club here with the Prime Minister administering a “cleanliness oath” to the nation. In the hours after the launch with a series of events, including a visit by Mr. Modi to Valmiki Basti and a walkathon, Union government employees will gather in their offices to take the oath, which will be administered by the respective Ministers or administrative heads. They are expected to clean up their work spaces and put in 100 hours a year to keep their home and office surroundings clean. In his message to the nation on the eve of Gandhi Jayanthi, President Pranab Mukherjee urged everyone to make the mission a success.

Anti-terrorism to trade: Narendra Modi, Barack Obama join hands for ‘model’ partnership

Aimed at boosting their “strategic partnership” — now being re-christened as a “defining partnership” — to new levels, India and the United States on Tuesday announced a slew of concrete steps towards collaborating on building a counter-terror platform — a major step forward from the earlier task force system. Even before the joint statement was announced, following the 90-minute meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), in its briefing, stated that the two countries had agreed to make “joint and concerted” efforts in this direction — including dismantling of “safe havens”, and terrorist and criminal networks. It was stated that India and the US would now work together to target the financial and tactical support for the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, al-Qaeda, Haqqani network and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. The statement is significant as Dawood is widely believed to be in Pakistan, and the Haqqani netw…

The game is open

The after-effects of the Modi tremors have now begun to be felt — not so much in governance or development as in the field of political competition. The 25-year-old alliance between the BJP and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra has been abandoned. The immediate provocation came from the Shiv Sena, though the BJP had been keenly driving the Sena to the brink. In the run-up to the parliamentary elections, the BJP had surreptitiously tried to undercut the Sena by talking to its rival, the MNS. Later, the Sena was not happy with the portfolio it got in the Union cabinet. Finally, the two partners have decided to test their strength independently.
This has allowed the Congress and the NCP to break their uncomfortable coalition of 15 years. The “free-for-all” season has commenced in Maharashtra. Following the 1999 split in the Congress, the assembly election  that year saw multi-cornered contests. But the two Congress parties quickly came together to form government and contested subsequent electio…