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India’s uncertain economic future

Giving a major blow to the already sluggish economy, Rating agencies India Ratings and Research and Moody’s Investors  Service have downgraded Punjab National Bank’s (PNB) long-term issuer rating and deposit rating, respectively.

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Prime Narendra Modi is celebrating his four years of BJP’s rule but India is passing through a phase of economic uncertainty as investors are dumping Indian stocks and bonds amid a stronger US dollar with the government still mulling options to wrest increasing petrol and diesel prices in the country.

Congress leader Chidambaram accused the government of not passing on the full benefits of the drop in international crude oil prices to consumers, claiming the government has made a windfall of about Rs 50,000 crore. He said that the petrol and diesel should have been selling at least Rs 15 less per litre if the government had passed on the entire benefit.

Modi has betrayed the youth by not fulfilling the promise of creating 2 crore jobs annually.

The most controversial, disruptive policy of the Modi government — demonetisation was a big failure and it resulted in cascading effect as it created acute individual distress It adversely affected. The agricultural sector, real estate, slowed growth due to reduced demand, disrupted supply chains, and increased uncertainty. The argument behind imposing demonetisation failed to meet two of its most hyped objectives in Jammu and Kashmir—dealing a severe blow to terrorism or militancy and curbing fake currency. Kashmir witnessed more incidents of militancy after demonetisation than before it.

On fake currency, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told Parliament in July that the total counterfeit currency discovered since demonetisation is worth Rs. 11.23 crore, which is 0.0007% of all demonetised currency.

As for terrorism, an analysis of Home Ministry data (compiled by South Asia Terrorism Portal, or SATP)  from 10 months before note ban, and 10 months after shows that in Jammu and Kashmir, terror incidents rose 38% after demonetisation, the deaths of civilians climbed 2500%, and 2% more security personnel were killed.

People experienced hardships while withdrawing their own money from banks. There is a growing perception that Modi government connived with high-profile businessmen to flee the country with taxpayers’ money. People are feeling cheated as new scams continue to unfold, undermining the public’s trust in the banking, regulatory and law enforcement system.

PM is even not bothered over the increasing number of scams unearthed during his tenure of just four years, rather he ignored to address the financial frauds or real issues concerning Aam AAdmi’s problems during Mann Ki Baat and avoids to reply to the Opposition’s legitimate questions in Parliament.

India’s economy is mainly influenced by rural or agriculture, small enterprise and construction operating mainly on cash transactions was severely hit in 2016 first by the sudden banning of nearly 86% of the cash in circulation -whose effect is still evident.

Small businesses, traders and unorganised sector is facing teething troubles after the rollout of a goods and services tax (GST), the biggest tax overhaul since independence that replaced the numerous state and federal taxes in June 2017.

Modi had promised in 2014  to double farm incomes by 2022 instead, farm incomes have fallen in real terms and suicides among farmers have increased. The Modi government had promised to make India a global manufacturing hub by its flagship ‘Make in India’ programme catering to both the export and domestic markets rather China has emerged as a manufacturing hub.

No industry has been established, India’s consumer confidence has plunged, the fixed investment rate has fallen, labour-intensive businesses such as construction have slowed down, many factories have been shut down, leading to millions of people losing jobs…

The Congress President Rahul Gandhi has slammed the Modi government on the issue of unemployment as Nobel laureate Paul Krugman questioned India’s growth story projected by Narendra Modi by saying that India is facing mass unemployment of 12 million jobs.

Government’s Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian is also in agreement with Krugman, saying that he was not sure if India’s manufacturing sector will continue to generate employment as it was doing in the past. Subramanian admitted that India has missed the manufacturing bus 20-30 years ago. Rahul has rightly touched the nerve of India’s growth story by saying that farmers’ loans should be waived off  and policy should be adopted to benefit the farmers so that the agricultural sector could flourish and manufacturing units could be revived to provide mass employment.

Giving a major blow to the already sluggish economy, Rating agencies India Ratings and Research and Moody’s Investors  Service have downgraded Punjab National Bank’s (PNB) long-term issuer rating and deposit rating, respectively.

Blog: By Arti Bali,
arti

(Senior Journalist)

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Obituary – MoS Railway Angadi will be remembered for warm gesture, smile

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Suresh Angadi,

New Delhi, Sep 23 : Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi, who passed away on Wednesday evening at a hospital here where he was being treated for Covid-19 will always be known for a big smile and warm gestures by his colleagues and friends.

Angadi was made the Minister of State for Railways in May last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Soon after his appointment as MoS for Railways, he knew that he has to meet the expectations of PM Modi to improve the train services.

During the inaugural run of second Vande Bharat Express train between New Delhi to Katra on October 4 last year, just two months after the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, he travelled in train with media persons to give a message that the government is standing with the people of J&K for the overall development of the region.

There were around 80 media persons along including the camerapersons to cover the inaugural run of the Vande Bharat Express.

During the trip, Angadi kept on interacting with the media about the plans of the Railway Ministry to bring development in erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

He gave interviews for four consecutive hours without any break and assured that he answered all the tough questions posed to him.

Speaking to IANS on the same trip, Angadi had said, the Indian Railways, which has witnessed delays in completion of several important projects, was aiming to finish all of them by 2022, on the occasion of 75th Independence Day.

He had also said that the national transporter sees the option of allowing private operators to run trains as an opportunity to provide world class services.

Angadi had said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed that all the pending projects and works be completed by 2022. We are focusing on completing pending works, like doubling and tripling of tracks, electrification, installation of CCTVs and signalling system upgrade.”

“New projects will be taken up only after completing them,” Angadi said.

He also favoured giving trains to private operators, and cited the example of private TV channels and said, “The entry of private players will generate more jobs and investment opportunities. In the long run, a lot of development will follow due to the competition.”

In countries like China trains run at 400 kmph. But in India trains were not running even at 160 kmph, he said.

“To compete with the world, we have to opt for investment from many sources. When a private company or people comes and invests in railways, it will create opportunities to develop economy,” he had said.

The railways had last year proposed to corporatise Rae Bareli Modern Rail Coach factory in UP.

On opposition of the Congress and other parties to corporatisation and privatisation of railways’ manufacturing units, the Minister said, “The Congress never thought about development. It has always opposed development.”

“We have not got to think of the Congress, but development and competition, and let the economy grow and create employment opportunities,” Angadi said.

Citing examples, he had said, the national highways remained undeveloped till the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government took it up and today even foreign countries were appreciating them.

Angadi in the railway ministry was also known as one of the most punctual minister. He always came to the ministry on time and ensured that the press briefing started on time.

Angadi represented Belagavi constituency of Karnataka in Lok Sabha.

He first won from the seat in 2004 and remained undefeated from the seat till 2019.

He was also known as a media man, who always remained responsive to the queries of media even late in night.

Following the news of gis death, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said, “Deeply anguished at the unfortunate demise of Suresh Angadiji. He was like my brother. Words fall short to describe his commitment and dedication towards the people. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this hour of need. Om Shanti.”

Angadi Angadi admitted at AIIMS on September 11 after testing positive for Covid-19. He breathed his last on Wednesday evening.

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It was all about being ruthless: MI skipper Rohit Sharma

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Rohit Sharma

Abu Dhabi, Sep 24 : Rohit Sharma, on Wednesday, returned to his usual, elegant self with a masterful innings to lead Mumbai Indians to a 49-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Rohit scored 80 off 54 as MI scored 195/5. In reply, KKR managed to score 146/9.

Interestingly, this marked MI’s first ever victory in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), having lost all of their matches in 2014 when a part of the group stage was played in the UAE.

“It was only two players from the 2014 squad. It was all about how we executed our plans today, we never let it go. We were in good position throughout the game but it was all about being ruthless, getting as many (runs) as possible. We knew the wicket was good and dew was coming down,” said Rohit in the post-match presentation ceremony in which he was declared Player of the Match.

As the KKR bowlers fumbled with their line and length and gave Rohit short deliveries, the MI captain replied with his trade mark pull shots to deposit the ball over the boundary.

“I back myself to play (the pull shots), love playing it and practiced it quite a bit. Pretty glad it came out well, they were all good (laughs), can’t pick one. I haven’t played a lot of cricket in the last six months time and was looking to spend some time in the middle; it didn’t come out well in the first innings but glad to have done it tonight,” he said.

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Changing alliances set the tone for Bihar Polls

The BJP’s Bihar unit President Sanjay Jaiswal says the NDA has jumped into the poll fray with full force. The BJP-led NDA parties were contesting on the sole plank of development.

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Patna, Sep 23 : Political parties in Bihar are busy chalking out strategies for the Assembly elections which are likely to be held in October-November this year though the Election Commission (EC) has not yet announced the poll dates.

In many cases, parties which were friends during the last elections will now be seen as opponents while foes in the last polls have joined hands.

In the last assembly elections, the BJP and the Janata Dal (United) fought against each other but in this election they are together in the NDA-fold.

The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) is likely to remain in the NDA this time as well but the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) which was with the NDA during the last elections has severed ties with it. Former Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha’s party RLSP is now part of the Opposition Grand Alliance (Mahagathbandhan) for the forthcoming election.

However, the RLSP and the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) are said to be upset as the seat-sharing formula in the Grand Alliance has not yet been decided.

Former MP Pappu Yadav has also announced to contest this year’s election through the Jan Adhikar Party (Loktantrik). Yadav has not yet aligned with any opposition party.

The BJP is enthused with the JDU coming back to the NDA. The importance of the Bihar elections for the BJP can be gauged from the fact that its National President J.P. Nadda has already reached Patna and is busy reviewing preparations for the polls.

The Left which contested the last elections alone is likely to join the Grand Alliance this time. There have been several rounds of talks between the Left and the RJD on contesting the elections together.

RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwari said the Opposition grand alliance should expand its outreach. Negotiations were on with many other parties, he added. Asked about the resentment over the seat-sharing formula, he said candidates who could guarantee a win were being selected.

The BJP’s Bihar unit President Sanjay Jaiswal says the NDA has jumped into the poll fray with full force. The BJP-led NDA parties were contesting on the sole plank of development.

In the last Bihar assembly elections, the JDU, the RJD and the Congress had contested together under the Grand Alliance and formed the government with absolute majority. Later, however the JDU broke away from the alliance and formed the government in Bihar by joining hands with the BJP.

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