BIMSTEC summit to be held in Nepal

BIMSTEC summit to be held in Nepal
The 4th BIMSTEC Summit will be held in Kathmandu from 30-31 August 2018, the Nepal government said. Sub-regional connectivity and poverty alleviation will be top of the agenda during the two-day BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multilateral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Summit. The group formed in 1997 consists of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand.

Fugitive offenders Bill passed

Fugitive offenders Bill passed
The Lok Sabha passed the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill that replaces the Ordinance by the same name promulgated by the President in April. The Bill empowers courts to direct the govt to confiscate all the assets belonging to a fugitive economic offender. A Fugitive Offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued & who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution.

India fastest growing economy in Asia:ADB

India fastest growing economy in Asia:ADB
Led by India, South Asia will continue to be the fastest growing economic area despite new trade tensions in Asia and Pacific region, Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a new report. The report titled “Asian Development Outlook” is published by ADB. The ADO published in April had said that India’s economic growth will rise to 7.3% this fiscal and further to 7.6% in the next financial year

The CEO of Amazon is Jeff Bezos.

The CEO of Amazon is Jeff Bezos.
Continuation of scholarships for minorities The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal for Continuation of Pre-Matric, Post Matric and Merit-cum-Means based Scholarship Schemes for the students belonging to the six notified Minority Communities. The 6 notified minority communities are Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Parsi. These Schemes shall be implemented through the National Scholarship Portal.

Amazon hits $900 billion valuation

Amazon hits $900 billion valuation’s stock market value reached $900 billion for the first time in its 20 year history. It has now become only the second company after Apple to achieve this milestone. The Current market cap of stands at $902 billion as of 18th July 2018. Apple is currently the world’s most valuable company with a market cap of $935 billion.

LIC to acquire 51% stake in IDBI Bank

The Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) gave approval to the acquisition of up to 51% stake in debt-ridden IDBI Bank. This was informed by Economic Affairs secretary S C Garg. Now, the state-owned LIC will approach market regulator SEBI on the matter. The LIC stake buy will help the IDBI get a capital support of 10,000 to 13,000 crore rupees.

1st land-based comm. link between Pak and PRC

An optical fiber cable project that would be the first land-based communication link between China (PRC) and Pakistan has been launched. It will help develop the telecom sector in the Gilgit-Baltistan region and enhance the security of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The project includes an 820-km-long underground optical fiber cable from Rawalpindi to Khunjerab.

Australia releases India economic strategy

The Australian govt has released an India Economic strategy report recommending to lift India into its top three export markets. The strategy prioritizes economic and trade opportunities in India covering 10 sectors such as health, energy, infrastructure etc. This would also boost Australia’s investment in India to $100 billion. The Author of this report is Australia’s PM Malcolm Turnbull

Seema Darshan project

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani has approved the ` 39 Cr Seema Darshan project for developing more infrastructure facilities at Nadabet near Suigam in Banaskantha district. The project is being developed on Wagah Border pattern & entails a parade ground with an amphitheatre. The project will encourage local economic activity in the Rann region & tourists can have a good view of the coastline.

China pledges 20 bn in loans for Arab states

China will provide Arab states with $20 billion in loans for economic development, as China seeks to build its influence in Middle East. The money will be earmarked for projects that will produce employment opportunities & positive social impact in Arab States. China is also prepared to provide another 1 billion yuan to countries in the region to build capacity for stability maintenance.

Tenth edition of Delhi dialogue

India will held the 10th edition of Delhi Dialogue on 19-20 July 2018. It is a premier annual event to discuss politico-security, economic and socio-cultural engagement with ASEAN members. RCEP is a free trade area consisting of 10 ASEAN members and six FTA partners which includes India.

Boost to Higher Education

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the proposal for expanding the scope of Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA). HEFA’s scope expanded to meet the rising financial requirements of educational infrastructure in the country. HEFA is a Non ­Profit, Non Banking Financing Company for mobilising extra-budgetary resources.

NCST presents special report on “ISPPATP”

Dr. Nand Kumar Sai, Chairperson, NCST presented a report on “Indira Sagar Polavaram Project Affected Tribal People”. The report and recommendations are under Article 338A(5)(e) of the Constitution. This is for the effective implementation of constitutional safeguards, welfare and socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribe affected by Polavaram Irrigation Project, Andhra Pradesh.

Bhutan PM to visit India

Bhutan PM Tshering Tobgay would be arriving in Delhi for a 3-day visit to India. Both the nations would be discussing about host issues such as security ties and economic cooperation. This visit is expected to advance the ‘exemplary ties of friendship’ between both the nations. Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan.

RCEP trade bloc at Tokyo meet 2018

Asian trade ministers from the 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which includes China, Japan and India but not the US, met in Tokyo on 1st July. The partnership would include the 10 members of the ASEAN as well as South Korea, Australia & New Zealand. The development in RCEP could put pressure on the US to consider rejoining the TPP, as the US-China trade war continues.

Panel to upgrade norms for data collection

Government has set up a 13-member committee to upgrade the norms for computation of economic data at states & districts level. The Committee for Sub-National Accounts will be headed by Ravindra Dholakia, a retired professor of IIM Ahmedabad. Panel has been asked to review concepts, definitions, data sources & requirements for preparation of State Domestic Product & District Domestic Product.

Swaraj inaugurates heads of missions meet

Sushma Swaraj inaugurated the 9th Heads of Mission Conference in New Delhi. Government is likely to brief the diplomats on economic reform taken for improving ease-of-doing business in India. Theme of the conference is ‘Unprecedented Outreach: Unparalleled Outcomes’. It comes at a time when India is monitoring important global developments including sanctions imposed by US on Russia & Iran.

Economic sanctions on Russia

European Union leaders have agreed at a summit in Brussels to extend economic sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine for a further six months. The sanctions target whole sectors of the Russian economy including its oil businesses. The EU first imposed the sanctions on Russia in July 2014 after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in July 2014 was shot down over Ukraine.

PRC, India and ROK see wealth loss of $1.4 tn

China, India and South Korea, which are the three biggest Asian markets, excluding Japan, have seen erosion in market capitalisation of $1.4 trillion in 2018. The US, UK & France have fared much better, indicating global funds could be shifting their preference away from riskier emerging markets. This is attributed to rising bond yields, improved economic outlook & strengthening currency.

PM to inaugurate 3rd AIIB Annual Meeting 2018

The Department of Economic Affairs & Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will host the 3rd Annual AIIB meeting on June 25-26, 2018 in Mumbai. The theme for this year’s meeting is – Mobilizing Finance for Infrastructure: Innovation and Collaboration. The AIIB is a development bank with a mission to improve socioeconomic standards. Its HQ is in Beijing & started operations in Jan 2016.

PM to inaugrate number of projects in MP

PM Modi to inaugurate economical urban transport scheme named ‘Sutra Seva’ in Indore under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme. Modi will dedicate the Mohanpura Irrigation Project worth Rs 3,866 crore in Rajgarh district to the people of the state. He wiil also distribute awards to winners of Swachh Survekshan 2018 – Indore, Bhopal and Chandigarh.

Chief Economic Advisor Subramanian resigned

The Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) of India, Arvind Subramanian had resigned from the post and will return to the US because of “pressing family commitments”. The announcement was made by Mr Arun Jaitley. Subramanian was appointed as CEA to the finance ministry in October 2014, for the period of three years. In 2017 his term was extended for a year.

India & Tajikistan to enhance Cooperation

India & Tajikistan have reaffirmed their commitment to promote bilateral relations $ agreed to enhance economic cooperation, particularly in sustainable water development. Nitin Gadkari held wide-ranging talks with Sirodjidin Muhridin, Foreign Minister of Tajikistan in Dushanbe. The two leaders underlined the need to give further impetus to the ongoing bilateral cooperation in various fields

Brazil & India firm most vulnerable to hikes

According to a report from Mckinsey Global Institute, a 200 basis-point increase in interest rate would spark a sharp price in corporate debt especially in case of Brazilian and Indian firms. This is seen as central banks of many emerging economies have raised interest rates, a similar thing done by RBI. It also said advanced economies would be protected from such increase of interest.

Inder Jit Singh became Secretary, Min of Coal

Dr. Inder Jit Singh, assumed charge as Secretary, Ministry of Coal at Shastri Bhawan office, New Delhi. Dr. Jit Singh took over the charge of Secretary which fell vacant after superannuation of Shri Susheel Kumar on April 30 this year. Dr. Jit Singh was posted as Secretary (Coordination) in Cabinet Secretariat, he is a Ph.D in Economics from Punjab University.

India, US to hold trade talks

India and the US have agreed to hold official-level comprehensive talks to address trade and economic issues. This development comes as crucial after President Donald Trump accused New Delhi of charging 100 per cent tariff on some of the US’ goods. The meeting was held in this regard between Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu had with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross

Maharashtra most vulnerable state

Maharashtra has been ranked the most vulnerable state in the draft National Disaster Risk Index, followed by West Bengal & Uttar Pradesh. States like Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh that are prone to natural calamities have been ranked relatively lower. Few factors taken into consideration were exposure of population, agriculture and livestock, environmental risk & economic vulnerabilities.

Retail inflation jumped further in May

Retail inflation jumped further in May to a four-month high, primarily driven by a surge in energy prices, according to a Reuters. Economists, suggest more policy tightening from the central bank is coming. On June 6, RBI raised the repo rate for the first time since 2014, by 25 basis points to 6.25%, as recent data showed significant increases for both inflation and growth.

RBI tweaks norms to boost housing lending

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has increased the eligibility limit for a loan to classify as priority sector lending in a bid to boost affordable housing. The move is aimed at giving a fillip to low-cost housing for the economically weaker sections and lower income groups. For metropolitan areas, loan limits have been raised from ` 28 lakh to ` 35 lakh.

Telangana’s formation day on June 2

Telangana celebrated its fourth formation day on 2nd June. The state was formed on 2nd June in 2014 following the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. Telangana was carved out from the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh as the 29th state. Telangana gained fame as one of the fastest growing and surplus state economies in the country.

India to host first BIMSTEC war games

India will host the first military exercise of the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) group focussing on counter-terrorism in September. The aim of the exercise is to promote strategic alignment among the member-states and to share best practices in the area of counter-terrorism. The exercise is scheduled to be held in Pune.

3rd Home Affairs Dialogue between India, UK

The third Home Affairs’ Dialogue between India and UK was held in New Delhi. The dialogue covered a wide range of issues including cyber security, women safety, organized crime and terror financing. Detailed exchange of views took place between the two sides on Indian fugitives and economic offenders residing in the U.K.

Procedure to bring back economic fugitives

The Centre has notified procedures for execution of court order to bring back economic fugitives. This will help in serving and executing warrants against fugitive economic offenders. The rules come on the back of the ordinance promulgated on April 21 and have come into force immediately. The rules will be known as ‘Fugitive Economic Offenders Rules, 2018’ and come into effect on May 25.

NDB plans to launch Americas regional office

New Development Bank (NDB), formerly referred to as BRICS Development Bank, is planning to launch its Americas Regional Office in Brazil. It will increase operational capabilities of NDB and facilitate identification & preparation of bankable projects in Brazil. NDB is mandated to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS & other emerging economies.

A historic moment for Arunachal Pradesh

A 42 seater ATR Aircraft of Alliance air landed in Arunachal Pradesh carrying CM Pema Khandu and 24 other passengers. This is a history in making since this is the state’s first commercial flight. This new commercial flight would develop new prospects of economic development in this region. The flights will be operated thrice a week.

China, U.S. vow against trade war

China and US have issued a joint statement on economic and trade consultations, vowing not to launch a trade war against each other.The two sides agreed to take effective measures to substantially decrease U.S. trade deficit in goods with China.Trump administration want’s to lower America’s goods trade deficit with China by at least $200 billion by the end of 2020.

Venture Capital Symposium 2018 began

NITI Aayog, in association with Vision India Foundation, is organizing Venture Capital Symposium 2018 to deepen the economic relationships between France and India. Venture Capital Symposium 2018 is an event where French investors will be interacting with 100 early to mid-stage Indian start-ups. The Symposiums aims to support the Start-up India programme that was launched by PM Modi in 2015.

Netherlands PM to visit India

Prime Minister of Netherlands Mark Rutte will visit India on May 24 & 25 with an aim to boost the economic and political cooperation between the 2 countries. It will be Rutte’s second visit to India since June 2015 but the first after being re-elected as Prime Minister in 2017. Netherlands is the 5th largest investor in India with a cumulative investment of $23 billion from 2000 to Dec 2017.

Indian economy to grow 7.6% in 2018-19

According to the UN World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP), India’s economy is projected to grow 7.6% in the fiscal year 2018-19, remaining one of the fastest growing economies in the world. This is a substantial recovery from the 6.7% growth India registered in the year 2017. The report also said that the recovery in private investment remains a crucial challenge in India.

Nepal to hold BIMSTEC 2018

Nepal’s PM, KP Oli has announced to host the 2018 Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical& Economic Cooperation summit. BIMSTEC is an international organisation of 7 nations of South & South East Asia, including Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan & Nepal. BIMSTEC aims to enhance technological & economic cooperation among South & South East Asian countries.

India’s growth to accelerate

Credit rating agency Fitch has said that India’s economic growth will accelerate to 7.3% in the current financial year & 7.5% in the next fiscal. Fitch said the growth rate will accelerate as money supply has recovered to its pre-demonetisation level & disruptions related to rollout of GST have diminished. Fitch has kept India’s sovereign rating ‘BBB-‘ unchanged for the 12th year in a row.

New monetary limits for public sector banks

Monetary threshold for public sector banks to report frauds to departments of CBI for a probe has been revised.Frauds of min. Rs 3 cr & to Rs 25 cr have to be reported to either CBIs Anti-Corruption Branch or to Economic Offences Wing.According to RBI, cases of frauds involving more than Rs 25 cr & up to Rs 50 cr should be given to CBIs Banking Security & Fraud Cell.

Nisha Bhalla conferred with ‘WEF 2018’ award

Holistic coach and consultant, Nisha Bhalla was felicitated at the recently concluded Annual WEF 2018 Awards. Nisha was presented the ‘Excellent Woman of Excellence’ award for her spiritual service. Women Economic Forum is the largest global gathering of women entrepreneurs and leaders worldwide that recognises the most successful women across all fields.

UN report for social inclusion

“The UN Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2018”, the annual report from the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific was launched on 8th May. The report was launched at the Indian Council for Research in International Economic Relations (ICRIER). The report described South and Southwest Asia as the fastest growing sub-region of the Asia-Pacific region.

India topped list of fastest growing economies

According to a Harvard University report, India topped the list of the fastest growing economies in the world for the coming decade. According to the report, India is projected to grow at 7.9% annually, ahead of China & US. The researchers also found India to be the best on Complexity Opportunity Index, which measures how easy it is to redeploy existing knowhow to enter new complex products.

India seeks $4 bn assistance from ADB

India has requested Asian Development Bank to expand its sovereign and non-sovereign operations in the country by providing financial assistance worth $4 billion a year. India also requested ADB President Takehiko Nakao to support its endevour towards an inclusive & sustainable growth accompanied by rapid economic transformation. ADB aims to promote social and economic development in Asia.

Informal meeting of SAARC FMs held in Manila

The twelfth informal meeting of SAARC Finance Ministers was held in Manila, on the sidelines of the 51st Annual Meeting of Asian Development Bank (ADB).The meeting was chaired by the Finance Minister of Nepal Yuba Raj Khatiwada. The Finance Ministers/Heads of Delegation briefed the meeting about the current status of economic progress achieved by their countries.

Ashok Lahiri appointed full-time member

Former Chief Economic Adviser Ashok Lahiri has been appointed as full-time member of the 15th Finance Commission. He is at present the part-time member of the commission, headed by N.K. Singh. He will be accorded the status of the Minister of State. The 15th finance commission’s chairman is N. K. Singh, with its full-time members being Shaktikanta Das and Anoop Singh.

Krishonnati Yojana to be continued

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved continuation of Umbrella Scheme Green Revolution – Krishonnati Yojana in the Agriculture Sector beyond 12th Five Year Plan to 2019-20. Umbrella scheme comprises of 11 Schemes. The schemes aim to develop the agriculture & allied sector in a holistic & scientific manner to increase the income of farmers by enhancing production & productivity.

Cabinet renames minority development programme

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has renamed the Multi-sectoral Development Programme as Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram. The restructured programme aims to provide better socioeconomic infrastructure facilities to minority communities, particularly in the field of education, health & skill development. The scheme would extend to 308 districts compared to 196 districts at present.

Government aid to reduce sugarcane dues

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval to provide financial assistance of Rs. 5.50 per quintal of cane crushed in sugar season 2017-18 to sugar mills. This will help sugar mills to clear cane dues of farmers. The assistance shall be paid directly to the farmers on behalf of the mills.

GST receipts cross Rs. 1 lakh cr. in April

Revenue from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for April 2018 crossed the Rs. 1 lakh crore threshold, coming in at Rs. 1,03,458 crore. It Indicates that the indirect tax regime was stabilising and that economic revival was picking up pace. The GST was rolled out across the country on July 1, 2017.

International Labour Day observed on 1st May

International Labour Day, also known as International Worker’s Day or May Day is observed on 1st May. It is observed every year to promote and encourage the international labour associations. The day marks the victory of workers’ movement for eight hours of work. It also aims to pay tribute to workers sacrifices in achieving economic and social rights all over the world.

NITI Aayog’s agenda for ‘New India 2022’

NITI Aayog will soon come out with a development agenda for ‘New India 2022’, which will spell out strategy for expediting economic growth. It will start working on a 15-year vision document after finalising the development agenda document for ‘New India 2022’. It had planned to come out with three documents: 3 year action agenda, 7 year medium-term strategy and 15 year vision document.

Economist & WB Finance Min Ashok Mitra died

Noted scholar and former Finance Minister in the Left Front government in West Bengal Ashok Mitra passed away on 1st May. Mr. Mitra was also an eminent economist and penned several newspaper columns on social and economic issues. He was the Chief Economic Adviser to the Central Government from 1970 to 1972. In the mid-1990s he became a member of Rajya Sabha.

Wuhan summit: India-China to collaborate

India and China have decided to launch together a launch joint economic project in war-torn Afghanistan.This would be the first ever Sino-Indian joint initiative in a third country. The two sides also decided give to momentum to economic partnership and joint global projects in health and disaster management

India to get database on disasters by 2020

India will get a national database on disasters, which includes information on deaths, people affected and economic losses, by 2020.As India is a signatory to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, it has become imperative for the country to have a database ready by 2020. A baseline, using data from 2005-15, will be developed in order to track improvements in disaster management.

National Bamboo Mission restructured

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Bamboo Mission under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture.The mission is to ensure holistic development of the bamboo sector. The Mission will focus on the development of bamboo in limited states where it has social, commercial and economical advantage, particularly in the North Eastern region.

Cabinet approves MSP for Raw Jute

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister has given its approval for the increase in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Raw Jute.The increased MSP is based on recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices. The Jute Corporation of India will be the Central Nodal Agency to undertake price support operations at MSP in the Jute growing states.

IMF unveils new corruption policy

26 : The International Monetary Fund will systematically address corruption and its impact on economic growth with all its member countries under new guidelines.The new policy also tackles how rich countries contribute to corruption in the developing world by failing to prevent bribery and money laundering. The IMF will not investigate specific instances of corruption.

Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018

Cabinet has approved promulgation of an ordinance that will empower govt to attach properties both within the country & overseas of fugitive economic offenders.It seeks to confiscate properties of economic offenders like Nirav Modi who have left the country to avoid facing criminal prosecution. Only those cases where amount involved is more than Rs.100cr will be covered under this ordinance.

Cabinet approved restructured scheme

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved a restructured Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan aimed at building infrastructure & stepping up initiatives for e-governance.The scheme will extend to all states & UTs & will include institutions of rural local govt in non-Part IX areas, where panchayats do not exist. PM Modi will launch the scheme on National Panchayati Raj Day on April 24.

India, US set up task force on natural gas

India &US have decided to set up a joint task force on natural gas that is aimed at increasing share of gas in India’s primary energy mix.Task force provides a team of US & Indian industry experts with a mandate to propose, develop, & convey innovative policy recommendations to Govt of India. The work of task force is expected to advance strategic & economic interests of both the countries

Key Accord Against Cyber Attacks

Top 34 global technology & securities firms, led by Microsoft, have signed a “Cybersecurity Tech Accord” to defend people from malicious attacks by cybercriminals & nation-states.The accord is a public commitment among 34 global companies to improve the security, stability and resilience of cyberspace. The economic losses due to cyber attacks are expected to reach $8 trillion by 2022.

India is world’s sixth largest economy: IMF

According to the database of the IMF’s World Economic Outlook for April 2018, India’s GDP clocked in at $2.6 trillion for 2017.India is now the world’s sixth largest economy, displacing France. The five economies ahead of India are the United States, China, Japan, Germany and United Kingdom. IMF expects India to grow at 7.4% in 2018 and 7.8% in 2019.

India to grow at 7.4% in 2018

IMF in the latest World Economic Outlook has projected India to grow at 7.4% in 2018 & 7.8% in 2019.India in 2018 & 2019 would re-emerge as one of the fastest growing major economies. IMF said the implementation of GST will help reduce internal barriers to trade, increase efficiency & improve tax compliance.

India won elections to key UN subsidiary

India has won an election to a crucial Non-Governmental Organisation committee in the UN.The UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) held elections to a number of its subsidiary bodies. The ECOSOC focusses on advancing the three dimensions of sustainable development economic, social and environmental. India topped the election to the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations.

World Bank forecasted 7.3% growth for India

The World Bank forecasted a growth rate of 7.3% for India in 2018 and 7.5% for 2019 and 2020.Growth is expected to accelerate from 6.7 in 2017 to 7.3% in 2018, the World Bank said in its twice-a-year South Asia Economic Focus. In its report the World Bank said, India should strive to accelerate investments and exports to take advantage of the recovery in global growth.

UN Launches Road Safety Trust Fund

United Nations’ Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed announced the launch of the ‘UN Road Safety Trust Fund’ to stimulate action that can save lives and prevent injuries and sufferings associated with road accidents. The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the development arm of the UN in Europe, is designated as the Secretariat for the Trust Fund. A contribution of USD 1500 to the fund could help save one life and prevent 10 serious injuries. The United Nations is an international organization founded in 24th of October 1945. It is currently made up of 193 Member States. The Headquarters of UN: New York, USA. Antonio Guterres is the Secretary-General of United Nations.

India ranks 130 in Index of Economic Freedom

India has jumped 13 places in the last one year to 130th spot in the latest annual Index of Economic Freedom released by the Heritage Foundation, a top American think-tank.As per the latest Index of Economic Freedom, China has jumped one spot and Pakistan is now at 131st position. In 2017, India with a score of 52.6 points was ranked at 143 among 180 countries.

India-Nepal agree to develop inland waterways

10 : India and Nepal recognised the untapped potential of inland waterways, in order to contribute towards the overall economic development of the region.Prime Minister of India and Nepal took the landmark decision to develop the inland waterways for the movement of cargo. The new initiative would enable cost-effective and efficient movement of cargo.

First Meeting of the NE NITI Forum

The first meeting of Newly constituted NITI Forum for North East will be held in Agartala, Tripura on 10 April 2018.The forum will be co-chaired by the Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog and Ministry of Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER).The ‘NITI Forum for North East’ was constituted in February 2018 with an aim to ensure sustainable economic growth of the North Eastern Region of India.

CMFRI scientist gets global recognition

Shyam S Salim, Principal Scientist at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), has been elected as an executive member of the ‘International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade’ (IIFET) based in the USA.Shyam is an expert in fisheries economics at CMFRI. IIFET is the forum for the exchange of research, information, and ideas on the economics of fisheries management.

Cabinet approved Nutrient Based Subsidy

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the continuation of Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) and City Compost Scheme beyond 12th Five Year plan till 2019-20. Government is making available fertilizers, namely Urea and 21 grades of P&K fertilizers to farmers at subsidized prices through fertilizer manufacturers. The subsidy on P&K fertilizers is being governed by NBS Scheme.

Cabinet enhanced the coverage of PMRPY

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for enhancing the scope of Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY). The informal sector workers would get social safety net and there would be more job creation. In this scheme, Government is paying the 8.33% contribution of Employers to the Employees‘ Pension Scheme (EPS) in respect of new employees.

MoU between India and Canada on IPRs

The Union Cabinet approved the MoU between India and Canada to establish bilateral cooperation activities in the field of Intellectual Property (IP). The MoU is intended to promote innovation, creativity and economic growth in both countries. Both countries can exchange best practices and work together to raise awareness on IPRs and better protect Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).

Indians least criminal among major economies

According to Institute for Criminal Policy Research, India has a lower imprisonment rate compared with other major economies. In India 33 of every 1 lakh Indians are behind bars. US, with 666 of every 1 lakh Americans behind bars, has the highest imprisonment rate among major countries. India‘s neighbours, China has a prison population rate at 118, while Pak is at 44 & Sri Lanka is at 78.

India’s growth to touch 7.3% next fiscal

Fitch has projected India‘s economic growth to rise to 7.3 percent next fiscal and further to 7.5 per cent in 2019-20. It said the money supply recovered to its pre-demonetisation level in mid-2017 and disruptions related to rollout of the GST have gradually diminished. In its Global Economic Outlook report, Fitch has forecasted Indian economy to clock a growth rate of 6.5% this fiscal.

China sets 2018 GDP target at around 6.5%

China has set its GDP growth target at around 6.5% for 2018, unchanged from that for 2017. The projected growth rate reflects China‘s position of not over-emphasizing speed but stressing improvements in the quality and effect of development. Chinese economy outperformed its annual growth target by expanding 6.9 percent last year, picking up for the first time in seven year.

Committee to Redress FinTech Grievances

Centre has announced the formation of a steering committee to examine issues faced by the FinTech industry in India. Committee will be chaired by Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs. Decision follows an announcement made by Arun Jaitley on setting up of a group under Finance Ministry that will help devise institutional measures to spur growth of FinTech firms.

New regulators to oversee auditors: Cabinet

Union Cabinet has approved the establishment of National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA). NFRA will act as an independent regulator for the auditing profession which was one of the key changes brought in by the Companies Act 2013. The Cabinet also gave nod to the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill – 2018 to deal with those escaping overseas to avoid getting caught.

Modi to address India-Korea Business Summit

PM Modi addressed the 2nd India-Korea Business Summit in New Delhi.The summit aims to create framework for an open & action-oriented dialogue b/w top business leaders & govt officials from India & Korea. This year, the theme of the summit is “India-Korea: Scaling up the Special Strategic Relationship through Trade & Investments”. India and Korea are the 3rd & 4th largest economies in Asia.

Govt Sets Up The “NITI Forum For Northeast”

The Union Government has issued order setting up the ‘Niti Forum for North-East’.The forum will be co-chaired by the Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog and Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER). The Forum is tasked to identify various constraints on the way of accelerated, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the North East Region of the country.

Govt to change base year for GDP, IIP

The govt will change the base year to 2017-18 for calculation of GDP & IIP numbers while for retail inflation the year will be revised to 2018.Change in base year is significant as capturing economic activity much away from base year gives unrealistic numbers & does not capture changed economic scenario. Earlier in 2015, CSO had changed the base year for GDP to 2011-12 from 2004-05.

Ashok Das appointed Indian envoy to Brazil

Ashok Das, a 1987 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, was named India’s new Ambassador to Brazil.Das, presently additional secretary in the external affairs ministry, is expected to take up his assignment shortly, according to a ministry statement. Both India and Brazil are members of the BRICS economic grouping that also includes China, Russia and South Africa.

South African Prez given 48 hrs to resign

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress gave President Jacob Zuma 48 hours to resign.It came after an eight-hour meeting of the party’s top leadership. Zuma, who has been South Africa’s President since 2009, has come under increasing pressure to resign in recent weeks due to economic decline and multiple charges of corruption against him.

Nod for 24 new medical colleges

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its approval for setting up 24 new medical colleges in underserved areas.This will increase the under and post graduate medical seats by 18,058 and adding 248 nursing and midwifery schools.This is to be done at a total estimated cost of ?14,930.92 crore up to 2019-20.

Higher fiscal deficit for FY’19: Goldman

The budgeted fiscal deficit is in line with expectations but there are some risks of slippage in financial year 2018-19.Goldman estimates a 20 bps upside risk to the fiscal deficit in 2018-19, unless economic activities formalise at a rapid pace.The government outlined a fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent of GDP in 2018-19 as against a revised estimate of 3.5 per cent in 2017-18.

Govt to regulate cryptocurrencies by March

Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg has said there will be regulations for cryptocurrencies by the end of this fiscal.The exchanges which are operating currently are not regulated and there are no legal requirements for conducting KYC, he added.The government in the Budget said it will take all measures to eliminate the use of cryptocurrencies in illegal activities.

Pakistan, Afghanistan to continue talks

Islamabad & Kabul have decided to continue holding discussions to reach an agreement on the entire Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace & Solidarity.The meeting comes in the backdrop of a series of deadly attacks in Afghanistan allegedly by Pakistan.APAPPS is a joint action plan for cooperation in the areas of counter-terrorism, peace, reconciliation and joint economic development.

FY16 GDP Growth Revised Up To 8.2%

Central Statistics Office revised the GDP growth rate for 2015-16 to 8.2% from the earlier estimates of 8% and kept the 2016-17 growth unchanged at 7.1%.The real GDP for years 2016-17 and 2015-16 stand at Rs 121.96 trillion and Rs 113.86 trillion respectively.Under the third revision the GDP growth in 2014-15 is at 7.4% from earlier estimates of 7.5%.

India slips to 42nd place on EIU Index

1 : India has slipped to 42nd place on Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual Global Democracy Index.India has moved down from 32nd place last year and remains “flawed democracies”.Index ranks 165 independent states and 2 territories on the basis of 5 categories: electoral process & pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation and political culture.

Open defecation falls to below 50%

The number of people defecating in the open in rural India had reduced to less than half of what it was in 2014, according to the Economic Survey.So far, 296 districts and 3,07,349 villages have been declared as Open Defecation Free. 8 States and 2 UTs, i.e., Sikkim, HP, Kerala, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Arunachal, Gujarat, Daman & Diu and Chandigarh have been declared as ODF.

Average inflation dips to 6 year low

The Economic Survey said the average retail inflation has declined to a six-year low of 3.3% in 2017-18.“Controlling inflation has been a priority area for the central government,” the survey said. CPI based headline inflation, factored in by RBI while arriving at its bi-monthly monetary policy, averaged 3.3% during the period which “is the lowest” in the last six financial years.

Dharmasena Pathiraja died

Renowned Sri Lankan filmmaker Dharmasena Pathiraja, passed away.Hailing from Kandy in Sri Lanka’s Central Province, the filmmaker is credited with making a critical intervention in Sinhala cinema, with themes that served as social commentaries on the prevailing socio-economic and political realities. He also taught film studies in various Sri Lankan universities.

Sunny Deol’s ‘tarikh par tarikh’ in ES

The Economic Survey 2017-18 has quoted Sunny Deol’s dialogue ‘tarikh par tarikh’ to highlight frequent delays in the judicial process.The survey, tabled in Parliament called for coordinated action between government and the judiciary to address the delays and boost economic activity. It also featured a line from a Bollywood song, “Mere desh ki dharti sona ugle, ugle heerey moti.

5 states account for 70% of exports

The Economic Survey 2017-18 has revealed that five states– Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Telangana, accounted for 70% of India’s exports for the first time.The survey found that states’ export performance and their standard of living were strongly interrelated. It also noted that India’s internal trade in goods and services accounted for an estimated 60% of GDP.

Economic Survey 2017-18 printed in pink

The Economic Survey 2017-18 tabled in Parliament is printed in pink to highlight gender issues amid economic development.The survey estimated that due to “meta-preference” for sons, India could have about 21 million “unwanted girls,” or girls whose parents wanted to have sons instead. It pointed out that most parents continued to have children until they got sons.

GDP growth pegged at 7-7.75%

The Economic Survey 2017-18, tabled by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley projected a GDP growth of 7 to 7.5% in the financial year 2018-19.“A series of major reforms undertaken over the past year will allow real GDP growth to reach 6.75 percent this fiscal and will rise to 7.0 to 7.5 percent in 2018-19,” said the Economic Survey 2017-18.

‘one district, one product’ scheme in UP

The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has approved ‘one district, one product’ scheme to promote products indigenous to every district.Implementation of the One District, One Product will boost economic development of the state, and also help in generation of five lakh new jobs annually. Under this, one product indigenous to every district would be showcased at the three-day UP Diwas event.