While the monetary policy measures announced today are certainly necessary, they can hardly be deemed to be sufficient, in the face of severely weakened demand conditions economy-wide, following two entire months of severe economic lockdown.
Liquidity for power utilities, subject to state government guarantees, will ensure that power generation is not shut down. Of course, the power sector cannot be redeemed without a change in the political culture of patronising power theft and open-ended giveaways.
The way forward is to policy design a vibrant market for ore, so that steel and other metal producers face no uncertainty in procuring minerals and other raw materials at competitive rates.
The government is making a hash of loosening restrictions while extending the lockdown.
All the regulatory measures are welcome and will help companies and real estate developers. The liquidity measures have a more mixed import.
The IMD projection says rainfall is likely to be 100% of the Long Period Average (LPA) precipitation for the country as a whole, with a model error of plus or minus 5%. But note that over the years there has been wide variability in monsoon rainfall patterns across regions.
It is welcome that the Prime Minister has restricted extension of the all-India lockdown to six more days after the original deadline of April 20th. The early lockdown has probably saved thousands of lives and helped contain the spread of the disease.
The central bank is not directly purchasing corporate bonds of large enterprises and major non-bank finance companies (NBFCs), as is par for the course in the mature markets. Instead, RBI has announced long-term repurchase obligations or repo in government securities with banks, so that the latter can then use the liquidity available to subscribe to corporate bonds or commercial paper or debentures.
It is for the voters to punish defectors by defeating them, their backers or proxies in by-polls. If voters do not care, and allow such shenanigans to proceed apace, political parties would try to grab power by inducing MLAs to defect.
The way ahead is to step-up recharge of aquifers and groundwater resources, even as we better allocate resources for surface irrigation systems and their maintenance. We are increasingly dependent on groundwater for irrigation, which is clearly unsustainable. But the maintenance and upkeep of surface irrigation systems is also neglected across states.
Does it hold out the definite prospect of reversing the growth slowdown? It does not. Does it fix the gaps in financial plumbing that prevent finance from being mediated to viable infrastructure projects? Not quite. A market for corporate bonds is India’s prime requirement now, and that remains a work in eternal progress.
Microsoft has come a long way since then and even became the world’s most valued company. The Survey does not hold out a happy story.
Civil Aviation minister Puri advised other airlines to follow suit. Air India, GoAir and SpiceJet followed suit — if the minister had asked them to do likewise, they would have done likewise — no matter Kamra did not misbehave on their flights. Nor did they convene a meeting of their internal committees that are supposed to ponder over a complaint.
At the broader level, the fact that the students will be selected through a national test is likely to help schools across the country to meet certain basic curriculum and teaching standards. The inclusion of senior citizens in the scheme is a recognition of the untapped capacity for contribution of this segment of the population.
The Supreme Court’s verdict that the Internet is a part of Article 19 – key to providing India’s citizenry with the ‘basic freedoms’ that include the freedom of expression – finally calls a spade a spade, and has demanded that Internet service be restored in Kashmir for all essential services.
The time has come for the government to shed its obsession about fiscal deficit targets and borrow more from the market, both to compensate the states for their shortfall in GST collections and to meet its own expenditure commitments. India still has deep reserves of economic resilience and it is necessary to avoid any self-defeating talk of recession.
The levies, charges and mounting dues would essentially financially cripple and may even bankrupt the leading service providers, and have wholly-avoidable negative effects and signals much beyond the telecom sector itself. The Cabinet needs to purposefully rationalise central levies and charges on telecom operators for the greater national good.
The latest inflation numbers suggest that retail headline inflation, read the overall rise in consumer prices, has gone up beyond the 4% target set up Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). The MPC is mandated to policy-induce a narrow 4-6% range for the retail inflation rate. The CPI has risen at the fastest rate since June last year.
The 14 MLAs who quit from Congress and the three from the Janata Dal (Secular) last July, leading to the fall of the JD(S)-Congress government, may have reasons other than pure disagreement and/or disenchantment with the way their own parties were going about governing and such things. Now, it’s for the bypolls on December 5, to decide the fate of the 17.
As for manufactures, which account for over 77% weight in the industrial index, production has contracted and posted minus 3.9% growth. The sharp contraction in automobile production, with the output of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers declining by minus 14.9 % y-o-y has clearly adversely affected production.
Work from Home arrangements have come to the fore during the COVID-19 lockdown. Are they good? How is productivity impact? Read about it.
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